6-year-old boy allegedly assaulted by maulvi a week ago: Maulvis pressuring family to withdraw molestation case
By Waqar Gillani
LAHORE: Religious groups are pressing the family of a six-year-old boy, who was allegedly sexually abused by his Quran teacher, not to pursue a case against him.
Talha, 6, was allegedly attacked by Maulvi Muhammad Altaf at the Lajna Mosque on College Road, Green Town, on June 6. Talha’s grandfather, Muhammad Aslam, registered a first information report (FIR) at Green Town police station on June 7 against Mr Altaf, 26, under Section 12/7 of the Hudood Ordinances.
According to the FIR, Talha went to the mosque to study on the afternoon of June 6 but did not return home at his usual time. His mother went to the mosque to fetch him and found him lying in the corridor, according to the FIR. He was bleeding and unconscious. Mr Altaf was not in the mosque. He was later taken into custody with the help of neighbours.
Talha has made a statement and identified Mr Altaf as his attacker in front of police. The initial medical report confirmed that the six-year-old had been sexually abused, a human rights activist of a non-government organisation that is following the case told Daily Times on Wednesday. “We are waiting for a final sample from the Punjab government’s chemical examination laboratory,” the activist from War Against Rape said.
Mr Altaf is being detained at Kot Lakhpat Jail. The family said that it is determined to pursue the case, but claimed that members of various religious groups, including the Tableeghi Jamaat and Jamia Ashrafia, where Mr Altaf reportedly studied, have asked them to drop the case.
Some of the family’s neighbours in Nasir Colony are also reportedly pressing them to withdraw the charges. The family was reportedly told that “these maulvis have links with Al Qaeda”.
Police investigators are also reportedly being pressured by religious groups. Green Town Investigation Deputy Superintendent of Police Mahmoodul Hassan told Daily Times that they were pursuing the case. “We have an oral statement from the child. We will investigate the case and not succumb to any external pressure,” he said.
DSP Hassan said police had called a meeting of the maulvis and the family on Thursday.
Investigating officer Aftab Pervez said the police’s job was only to investigate the case and if the complainants and accused wanted to reach a compromise that was up to them.
Talha comes from a family of rickshaw drivers. His grandfather, grandmother and mother told Daily Times that they were under pressure to drop the case. They alleged that the maulvis had threatened the whole community.
Mr Aslam said Mr Altaf, originally from Mansehra in the NWFP, joined the mosque and madrassa, which is registered, a year ago. He said this was the closest madrassa to Talha’s house and many children went there to read the Quran.
Mr Aslam said he knew nothing of the organisations pressuring the family to withdraw the case. “We are not interested in the names and organisations of the maulvis. We only want to see the man who has ruined our child’s life punished,” he said. He said the family would go Chief Minister’s House on Thursday to appeal for justice. He also asked the president, prime minister, Punjab government and the media to help the family get justice.