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Thursday, October 6, 2022

55 year old Madrassa teacher in Malappuram convicted for raping his own daughters aged 15 & 17

A court at Manjeri in Malappuram district of Kerala sentenced a 55-year-old madrassa teacher to double life imprisonment for repeatedly raping two of his minor daughters. The jail terms run concurrently and he will be in prison until his death. There were two POCSO cases registered against the madrassa teacher. 

Earlier this month, Fast Track Special Court (POCSO) judge Prakasan P.T. had sentenced the Muslim man to four life imprisonments and slapped a fine of Rs. 2.1 lakh for raping his younger daughter aged 15. And then another life imprisonment was handed out by the judge in connection with the rape of the 17-year-old daughter between 2014 and 2016. 

When the girls complained to their mother, the madrassa teacher threatened to kill them. 

The accused has eight children and used to rape his daughters after feigning quarrels with their mother at night following which he used to sleep with the minors. His eldest daughter and his wife were both pregnant when the rapes occurred. In 2016 March, the mother filed a police complaint against the man for sexually abusing the daughters who were then aged 15 and 17.

Prosecution counsel A. Somasundaran succeeded in proving the man guilty. “This has been one of the rarest of aggravated sexual offenses we saw in recent memory,” said Somasundaran. The central government has earlier amended the POCSO Act by including the death penalty for sexual assault on children. 

Earlier there were reports of the Manjeri jail overflowing with sexual predators who prey on children, both boys and girls. Statistics also reveal that Malappuram district tops the list of districts in the total number of POCSO cases in the state. Observers believe the courts here have always been lenient towards child rapists and molesters, even sending back child victims with parents who actively sell their children to sexual offenders. What makes Malappuram so dangerous for minors is anybody’s guess given the demography of the controversial district. 

Cases involving sexual abuse of Muslim children, both girls and boys, by madrassa teachers occur with sickening regularity in Kerala and other parts of the country. Here are some other cases that have come to light in Kerala recently –

Jan 2021: Madrasa teacher Abdul Jabbar was arrested at Thiruvanthapuram for sexually abusing a 11 -year-old boy for the last few months. He was providing ‘Quran lessons’, staying at the boy’s house.

June 2021: Madrasa Ustad (scholar/teacher) Muhammad arrested for sexually abusing 5 under age girls in Malappuram

June 2021: Madrasa Usthad Husain Ashraf arrested for sexually abusing 10-year-old boy in Kochi.

July 2021: Madrasa teacher Abdul Razak arrested under POCSO charges at Kannur for sexually abusing an under age boy. He invited the boy to his room to ‘clarify his doubts’ from online class.

The scenario is equally grim with madrassas in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh. And madrassas are not just dens of sexual abuse and exploitation, they have repeatedly proved to be centers of Islamic radicalization and act as gateways for terror organisations.

While countries like Sri Lanka have woken up to the danger posed by madrassas, in Bharat all governments (including alleged ‘Hindu nationalist’ BJP governments at centre and in states) are ploughing in tax-payer money for ‘madrassa modernization’ – with the notable exception of Assam where CM Himata Biswa Sarma had the foresight to stop funding these Islamic schools.

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