A judicial magistrate, Rana Arshad, on Monday indicted Mufti Aziz-ur-Rehman and his five sons in a case related to sexual abuse of a seminary student in the Cantonment area.
As the proceedings commenced, police produced Mufti Aziz-ur-Rehman and his five sons Altaf-ur-Rehman, Ateeq-ur-Rehman, Ata-ur-Rehman, Wasi-ur-Rehman, and Latif-ur-Rehman.
The judge read the charges openly when all the accused were standing in the court with their counsel. Rehman’s sons were indicted for abetting in the case and threatening the complainant with dire consequences if he took his grievances to the authorities.
The accused, including Rehman, pleaded not guilty and decided to contest the case. The judge directed the police to produce the witnesses on the next hearing.
On September 17, the police completed their investigation and submitted challan [Investigation report] before the court, which declared Rehman guilty of sexual abuse.
The police report confirmed that the cleric sexually abused the student by luring him with passing marks in exams and that Rehman was harassing him for the last three years. It also quoted the forensic report of the video that showed him trying to sexually abuse the student. Police had arrested Mufti Rehman from Mianwali after the said video went viral on social media.
Police had mentioned as many as 22 people as witnesses in the case, making it clear that the victim student had pleaded for justice through a video message.
In the video, the student had claimed that the accused sexually abused him, while the cleric’s sons blackmailed and threatened to kill him. “If justice is not done, I will commit suicide,” the survivor had said in the FIR.
Once police registered a case against Aziz, he fled from the madrassa to avoid arrest and sought refuge in his students’ houses. The police said Aziz went to different places to hide including Township, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, and later to Mianwali. The police traced Mufti Rehman and sons via their mobile phone locations.
According to police, Mufti Rehman, the former superintendent of the Jamia Manzor Al-Islamia in Lahore Cantt, confessed that the viral video was “stealthily filmed” by his student.
The cleric has already confessed that he had enticed the student with passing marks in the exams and had later sexually abused him. The accused also told the police that his sons threatened the student who did not stop and posted a video on social media.
The cleric also claimed that he had released a video statement negating all the charges because he did not want to leave the seminary, even though the administration insisted he left immediately.