Thrissur police are looking for Basheer Saqafi (52), a madrassa teacher, for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy. Saqafi is from Karupadanna near Kodungallur and is the Imam of Anthikad Muslim Jamaat mosque.
The accused indulged in unnatural sex with the minor boy, a madrassa student attached to the mosque. Saqafi has been in charge of the mosque for the past 20 years. Anthikad SHO Aneesh Kareem said that the police had intensified the search for the missing imam.
Incidentally, police registered the case on 2 May, yet they have not been able to locate the accused. The imam tried to molest the victim several times but only recently succeeded in sodomizing the young boy. Several other children have suffered the same fate, but they did not come forward with complaints fearing slander.
It is alleged that the mosque committee knew that Saqafi was a pedophile and refused to help the victims. Locals protested against the mahal committee, which is how the incident became public. There is anger against mosque authorities who failed to inform the police about the abuses. Muslims living in the area have now formed a mahal protection committee and want the current committee removed.