Prayer leader arrested for abusing boy

CHAKWAL: A prayer leader in the Dhapai Village was arrested for sexually abusing a nine-year-old boy in a mosque, the police told Dawn on Monday.

They said the accused confessed to the crime before the villagers and the police.

The Dhapai village is located in the jurisdiction of the Dohman Police Station in Chakwal. According to villagers and the police, a 60-year-old cleric was appointed prayer leader at the local mosque a year ago. The accused had moved from the Salar Village in Sargodha to Dhapai with his wife and taught young boys to recite the Quran in the evenings as well.

The father of the boy who was abused said his son would go to his tutor after being done with lessons with the cleric and that his son was a student of the third grade.

“When my son did not come home from his Quran lesson I got worried. I went to the mosque and was shocked to see him being abused by the cleric”, he said.

The victim’s father then started shouting at the cleric which also drew the attention of locals, who came to see what the commotion was about.

“When I told the villagers of what had happened, they called the cleric who confessed to his crime,” the boy’s father said.

“When I asked my son why he did not tell me about the abuse before, he said the cleric had threatened him and had said he will slaughter my son if he ever talked about this,” he said.

The boy’s father added that the cleric had sexually abused other boys as well and that the other victims had also not told their parents as they had been threatened by the prayer leader as well.

The police registered a case of sodomy against the cleric and arrested him.

“The accused has confessed before the police and the court as well. The court has sent him behind bars,” said Station House Officer Raja Nazar Hayat.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2016

Courtesy DAWN