- The arrest comes days after a video went viral on social media in which Rehman could be seen molesting a madrassa student
- The cleric has claimed that the videos were a conspiracy to remove him from Jamia Manzoorul Islamia
(Karachi) Punjab Police have arrested former JUI leader Mufti Azizur Rehman from Mianwali for his alleged involvement in sexually assaulting a seminary student, local media reported on Sunday.
The arrest comes days after a video went viral on social media in which Rehman could be seen sexually abusing a madrassa student.
The police said that Mufti Aziz was arrested along with one of his sons during a raid in Mianwali. The victim, who had been enrolled in Jamia Manzoorul Islamia since 2013, had registered a case against the cleric at North Cantt Police Station in Lahore.
In his statement to the police, the victim stated that Rehman used to molest and blackmail him. He added that despite bringing the matter to the knowledge of the madrassa administration, nothing was done to punish the accused.
He said that the cleric's son also hurled life threats at him for putting up the video of the incident on social media.
Earlier, Aziz had denied the accusation of sexual abuse in a video statement and claimed that he was drugged by his student before he was filmed. The cleric had claimed that the videos were a conspiracy to remove him from Jamia Manzoorul Islamia, Lahore.
Meanwhile, taking action over the incident, the madrassa administration terminated Rehman while the JUI-F suspended his party membership.
In recent months, there has been a sharp rise in sexual abuse cases across the country. In one of the incidents last month, four men allegedly gang-raped a woman in front of her husband in Shujabad, 45 kilometres away from Multan District.
The victim's family said that four unidentified armed men in police uniform barged into the house and held the family hostage at gunpoint.
They lamented that the robbers tortured the victim's husband and sexually abused her. Later, they said the suspects made off with five-tola gold and Rs125,000 cash.
In another incident that occurred on September 9, 2020, a woman was gang-raped during a robbery bid in Gujjarpura along the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway.
Police said the victim was travelling with her children in a car when the vehicle stalled due to lack of petrol. She called a relative and sent him her location on the motorway. When the relative arrived at the location, he saw the victim driving the car towards them with broken window panes.
The woman told police that she was waiting for the family to arrive to pick her and the children when two armed assailants, identified as Abid Malhi and Shafqat alias Bagga, attacked her.
One suspect hit the car with clubs and the other held them hostage at gunpoint. The attackers then took her and the children to a nearby forested area where they gang-raped her. Later on, they robbed her of valuables and left her stranded.
Later, police arrested both the suspects and initiated legal proceedings against them. The case went on trial in an anti-terrorism court. After analyzing the statements of the victim and witnesses, the court awarded death sentences to both accused.