Crime against children: Prayer leader confesses to rape-and-murder plot

The grave digger told police that the cleric initially tried to put on the dress, but on seeing some other men approach, he left his clothes behind and fled. PHOTO: FILE

The grave digger told police that the cleric initially tried to put on the dress, but on seeing some other men approach, he left his clothes behind and fled. PHOTO: FILE

MULTAN: Residents of Koraywala Colony in Multan caught a prayer leader on Sunday evening for plotting to rape and kill a three-year-old. He was beaten up, stripped and tied to an electricity pole before he was handed over to the Bahauddin Zakariya police. Police said he had confessed to his attempted assault.

The child was taken to a hospital, where she was later reported to be out of danger.

Investigation Officer Sheikh Mukhtar said that the girl and her brother were both students at a seminary in the neighbourhood. He said on Sunday their father had dropped them at the seminary for their daily Quran lessons.

After the lesson, he said, the cleric told her brother to return home saying that the girl had yet to revise her lesson and that he would drop her home in an hour.

When her brother left, the investigation officer said, the cleric drugged the girl and took her to a nearby graveyard, where he dug a hole for her.

He said a grave digger saw the cleric taking his clothes off. He said when he went closer, he saw the child. He said he grabbed the cleric and shouted for help. The grave digger told police that the cleric initially tried to put on the dress, but on seeing some other men approach, he left his clothes behind and fled.

He was caught at Kashmir Square, beaten up and tied to an electricity pole. Later, police were informed and the man was handed over to them.

The girl was taken to Nishtar Hospital emergency, where she was later said to be out of danger.

An FIR was registered with the girl’s father as the complainant. Police said the cleric’s assistant was missing and would be arrested soon.

The investigation officer said the cleric and told police that he had intended to rape the child. He said he had told his assistant to later bury her. He said he had told his assistant to dig a grave for an adult.

Several residents of the area gathered in front of the police station and demanded that the police seal all seminaries in the area. They said only mosques should be allowed to open. They said most of them would stop sending their children to seminaries and mosques. They demanded exemplary punishments for the suspect and his accomplice.

Boy accused of raping sister

Separately, a 16-year-old boy was arrested by Batala Colony police in Faisalabad and sent to district jail for allegedly raping his sister.

The Warispura resident was booked on his mother’s complaint. She told police that she had been away when her son raped his sister. She said some neighbours had rushed to her house on hearing her daughter shout. She said she learnt about it when she returned.

Investigation Officer Arshad Chattha told The Express Tribune that the boy had been sent to district jail for 14 days by a judicial magistrate.

Source: The Express Tribune

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