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Court grants 4-day remand as cleric confesses to crime

LAHORE: A Magisterial Court on Monday granted four-day physical remand of cleric Mufti Aziz ur Rehman, an accused of sexually abusing a Madrassah student.

The police produced the accused before the court and sought physical remand to carry out further investigation. The police informed the court that three sons of Mufti Aziz were also nominated in the case over the charges of issuing threats to the victim. The court after hearing the police granted four-day physical remand of the accused. The court has also directed the police to conduct DNA of the accused and submit a report on next hearing. The Sessions Court also granted interim bail to one Abdullah, a co-accused of Mufti Aziz in this case. Meanwhile, the prominent leader of JUI-F Mufti Aziz-ur-Rehman has confessed to his crime in police custody. He was arrested along with his two sons from different areas of the province on Sunday last. Soon after the video went viral, the 70-year-old Mufti had recorded his video message on social media expressing his innocence. He categorically had denied his involvement in any such offence. In a 10-minutes long video statement on social media pleading his innocence, he said that he did not commit sodomy while in his senses. He had termed the video fake and filmed while being intoxicated through tea. However, within few hours in police custody, he confessed to his crime saying he was embarrassed over his very bad act.

SSP CIA Shoib Khuram Janzab told reporters during a press conference that police would also probe if there was exploitation of other students of the seminary. Mufti, in his statement before police, told that video was filmed without his knowledge. When he came to know about it, he pressurized the victim through his sons for not flaring it up but he shared these videos with people. His sons also threatened the victim and tried to harm him. He continued that Madrassah administration had expelled him. However, he did not want to leave the seminary.

On June 16, North Cantonment police had registered an FIR against Mufti and his sons and a friend. The victim had alleged that Mufti had got him banned from taking examination after blaming him that he (victim) had made another student sit in examination in his place. When he requested him time and again, the accused had asked him for sexual favours to get him passed and lift the ban.

He further said that instead of fulfilling his promises, the accused had started blackmailing him. He got frustrated and lodged a complaint before Madrassah and Wafaq-ul-Madaras authorities. However, when no one believed him, he planned to collect evidence through video. The victim also hurled gruesome allegations in FIR against Mufti. The victim had issued a video of the sexual assault with a message that if he was not provided justice, he may commit suicide as it was better in place of being murdered for retribution by Mufti’s sons.

The complainant of sex abuse, Sabir Shah, hails from Sawat and police had traced him after hectic efforts as he had also gone in hiding due to life threats. He is now in police custody for protection and further information against Mufti.