A 26-year-old cleric was arrested from his home in Rampur district on Monday for allegedly molesting an eight-year-old girl at a mosque in Bareilly on Friday evening.
Imam Munir Ahmad was produced in a local court, which sent him to judicial custody on Monday.
According to a complaint lodged against Ahmad, on Friday evening, the girl had gone to the mosque near her house to learn Arabic like everyday. “Her parents alleged that no one, except the cleric, was present there on the day and taking advantage of the situation, he molested the girl. The parents said he then sent the girl back home, asking her not not tell anyone about this,” said the Station House Officer (SHO) of the local police station.
He added the girl was so scared that she did not inform her parents about this, but after two days when they scolded her for not going to the mosque, she narrated the incident to them. “Her parents went to the mosque, but the cleric had escaped by then. An FIR was registered against the cleric under Indian Penal Code Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. He was arrested Monday morning from his home in Rampur district,” the SHO said.
The local residents and victim’s family members had also staged a protest outside the mosque, demanding immediate arrest of the cleric. The cleric was produced in a local court, which sent him to judicial custody on Monday.