Don’t Communalise My Niece’s Rape: Uncle of Minor Raped in Madrasa
A maulvi was arrested on Friday in connection with the rape of a 10-year-old inside the Madrasa in Ghaziabad..
A 10-year-old girl was found on the first floor of a madrasa in Ghaziabad, wrapped in a mat on the floor of the dimly-lit, shabby school run by the local mosque committee. Medical examination proved she was raped.
The girl is a Hindu, and in the backdrop of the recent rape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, there is a tendency to give the case a communal colour. But the rape survivor’s uncle pleads, “Don’t communalise my niece’s rape. Criminals don’t see religion.”
Read the story in Hindi here.
The survivor’s friend’s brother has been alleged to have committed the crime, but it is the maulvi’s role that’s in question. Pankaj Kumar Singh, DCP East, told The Quint, “Although the probe so far has not revealed any evidence of the maulvi raping her, it has been established that he definitely knew about the presence of the girl (in the madrasa) and failed to inform the police about it.”
The Quint did a ground check to find out the different versions.
How the Events Unfolded
The rape survivor’s uncle told The Quint that she had stepped out of her home on 21 April to go to the market near her house in Ghazipur when a neighbour, whom she knew for the past two or three months, called her over to meet a friend. That is when she was allegedly abducted by her friend’s brother and taken to the madrasa in Ghaziabad’s Arthala, about 20 km away. After the family filed a complaint, the Ghazipur police station combed through CCTV footage and recovered the girl on 22 April.
The boy who stayed in the madrasa with four other kids, all younger than him, was apprehended and sent to a juvenile correction home.
The girl’s uncle alleged that although “the medical examination said 3-4 people were involved”, the police have arrested only the friend’s brother – who was earlier thought to be a juvenile – because “they know that he can get away with it easily.” But, on 1 May, a bone ossification test proved that he is not a minor. The report was submitted to the juvenile justice board on Tuesday and the matter has been listed for hearing on Wednesday, 2 May, a senior police officer told PTI.
The girl used to earlier live in Arthala area, and had only moved to Ghazipur on 18 April.
The case was transferred to Delhi Police crime branch because of the inter-state ramifications – while Ghazipur falls in Delhi, Ghaziabad, where the crime took place, falls in Uttar Pradesh.
The crime branch arrested the maulvi who is now lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
The cleric has been booked under Section 21(2) of the POCSO Act which “provides punishment for failure to report or record a child sexual abuse case”.
‘My Husband is Innocent’
The maulvi’s wife defended her husband, saying, “My husband was busy with the jalsa that was scheduled to happen on 28 April so he would hardly be at the madrasa. He had asked the accused boy to take care of the school. On 22 April, after he came back from sending the invites for the jalsa, he was reading namaz on the ground floor of the same building when the police came and recovered the girl from the floor above. My husband really did not know about the girl’s presence.”
The uncle, however, said that according to his niece, she was given a glass of water by the maulvi and the accused boy after when she was brought to the madrasa.
It is not possible that a girl is kept in your home and you don’t know about it. The maulvi used to rest on the ground floor of the same building where my 10-year-old niece was raped.The uncle to The Quint
Protests, Outrage, Ransacking That Followed
On 25 April, ANI reported a massive roadblock by the family members and relatives of the survivor agitating and demanding for action on the NH24 in the Ghazipur area. A few people, including some neighbours, assembled outside the maulvi’s home on Friday, 27 April, on the lane next to the madrasa, and vandalised his home.
Although the maulvi’s wife and two children had locked the home and moved out in anticipation of violence, his house was ransacked. The action was allegedly initiated by Hindu groups, but later joined in by neighbours.
Rakesh Kumar Singh, SHO, Sahibabad Police Station told The Quint, “There were many who had gathered in the crowd. We have so far nabbed 5 people which includes women from the neighbourhood.”
When The Quint spoke to the neighbours in the locality, mostly inhabited by Hindus, they said the vandalism was an outcome of anger over the rape case.
One of the neighbours, Chandni, said, “The maulvi and family had shifted to the locality five months ago and everyone in the neighbourhood used to feel uncomfortable by the way he used to get extra-friendly with women and talk to them uninvited.”
Another neighbour, who refused to reveal his name, said, “I heard the police is talking to Muslim politicians who bribed them to come arrest the women in the locality.”
However, the uncle of the survivor reiterated that “this was not a Hindu-Muslim matter and people are purposely trying to colour it that way.” He said, “We just want the criminals to be hanged.”
Don’t Believe the ‘Fake Facts”!
Giving the rape case a communal colour, people took to Twitter asking for a similar outrage and anger as shown during the Kathua rape incidents. Even websites like Postcard News published two articles inciting anger because of the involvement of a maulvi in the rape of a Hindu girl.
Postcard News tried to make the point that there was selective outrage, unlike Kathua, because the victim belonged to a Hindu community. Reiterating their claim that everyone who doesn’t protest for the 10-year-old girl is an “anti-national”, the website’s headline reads, “No media, no Bollywood, no pseudo liberals will hold placards, candles for her demanding justice because the rapist was a MAULVI?” Such polarising sentiments echoed in the article often leads to unrest and violence. Please do not fall into the trap!
Further, The Indian Express reported that a BJP MLA from Sahibabad Sunil Kumar Sharma wrote to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about other “illegal activities that were allegedly happening in the madrasa.” Clarifying to The Quint, DCP Pankaj Kumar Singh completely dismissed any such possibilities.
(This copy was first published on 30 April but has been updated to include the bone ossification report which established that the accused boy was not a juvenile.)
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