Woman journalist targeted for FB post on abuse in madrasashttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/woman-journalist-targeted-for-fb-post-on-abuse-in-madrasas/

Woman journalist targeted for FB post on abuse in madrasas

Rajeena had given an account of her madrasa life from nearly two decades ago and described how young students were sexually exploited by ustads.

A Facebook post by a Muslim woman journalist alleging sexual abuse of minor boys and girls by madrasa teachers led to an avalanche of abusive reactions on her page, eventually leading to her account being temporarily shut down.

Journalist V P Rajeena works as a sub-editor with Jamaat-e-Islami’s Malayalam daily, Madhyamam. Two days ago, Rajeena in a Facebook post gave an almost graphic account of her madrasa life from nearly two decades ago and described how young students were sexually exploited by ustads (madrasa teachers) in those days.

The account was reportedly triggered by a recent controversy over alleged gender segregation in a Kozhikode college, which is run by a Muslim management.

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In an attempt to expose child abuse at the madrasas, Rajeena recalled the first day of first standard class at the madrasa. She alleged that the ustad, a “bulky, middle-aged man”, made boys stand in a queue and then called them to his seat, unzipping their trousers to touch them inappropriately.

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“He ended that exercise after examining the last student in the class,’’ she claimed.

Recounting another incident in Class 4, Rajeena alleged that an ustad abused girls during the night classes.

During power cuts, the 60-year-old ustad, she alleged, would walk towards the benches of the girls and grope them or poke them with a stick. “On one occasion, a senior among the girls exploded at the ustad with a warning that she would reveal everything to the senior ustad,’’ claimed Rajeena.

Her remarks led to hundreds of abusive comments, several of them threatening in nature, on her Facebook page.

Sources said the Facebook account was “missing” on Wednesday and would be restored after normal verification process.