This report is part of AGHS Legal Aid Cell’s campaign ‘Report SGBV – Break the Silence’.
July 11, 2023
By Maryam Missal
A 12-year-old boy in Mandi Bahauddin was rescued from a madrassah by his maternal grandfather when he was being raped by his Quran teacher (Qari). Later, several additional madrassah students came forward accusing the Qari of rape.
Bilal* a 12-year-old child, was doing Hifz-e-Quran from a Madrassah close to his home for the past four months. On July 4, after Bilal’s madrassah hours were up, his maternal grandfather, Muhammad Azam, who was there to see his daughter went looking for him.
Upon entering the Mosque, Azam caught Qari Tufail raping Bilal. Azam while talking to Voicepk.net confirmed that at the time of the rape, other people were also present in the mosque.
“He got scared looking at me and when I shouted he sent the child out of the masjid”,
said Azam while recalling the incident of July 4.
When Azam tried to confront Tufail, he dismissed Azam’s concerns. Azam then went to the local police station of Phalia, Mandi Bahauddin.
Bilal’s Father, Qaiser Farooq, while talking to Voicepk.net said that the child has shared that this was not the first time that Tufail raped him, it has happened approximately five times before.
Tufail was a Quran teacher and prayer leader in the Mosque for the past nine months now.
Ghulam Rasool, who is a senior administrator at the Masjid said while talking to Voicepk.net said that when we confronted Tufail he said that he only asked the children to masturbate him.
“If we had even the slightest idea, we would not have stepped behind him in the prayer. He had been leading prayer for nine months.”,
said Ghulam Rasool in anger.
A regular to the mosque, Ali Bahadur, said to Voicepk.net, “We are now hearing that he was dismissed from a few other mosques as well on rape and child molestation accusations.”
Bahadur told that the masjid administration was unaware of his previous rapport but now they are receiving news from other mosques as well.
A First Information Report (FIR) was registered against Qari Tufail under Section 376(C) and 511 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Following the FIR, Qari Tufail was arrested and is currently in the custody of Phalia police.
A few days before the incident, Bilal had complained to his mother that he had pain in his rectal area, but his complaint was dismissed by his mother.
Later on, when Bilal went to the madrassah, he repeated the complaint and Tufail took him to the local pharmacy and bought him painkillers without the knowledge of his parents.
“He is only 12 years old, he was too scared to tell us anything, he is now saying that Qari had threatened him to beat him with a thick water pipe if he told us anything”,
said the father of Bilal while mentioning the conversation with his son after the incident.
Bilal’s father further told that on July 4, Bilal was so scared to go to madrassah that he carried a knife in his bag thinking that he will use it on Qari Tufail but he was scared to make a move.
Other students of Tufail have refused to return to the madrassah and have been complaining about Tufail’s behaviour. They have reported being subjected to both physical and sexual abuse but they haven’t registered any formal complaints against him.
The timings of madrassah were from 8 am to 12 pm, it was often that Bilal came home later than the designated time. Bilal went there along with his brother who is only 10 years old.
It was confirmed by Bilal’s parents that the younger child hasn’t complained about sexual harassment.
Bilal received urgent medical care after the report, he was taken for a medical checkup by the police as well from where the reports were sent for forensics, reported Farooq.
After the FIR against Qari Tufail was registered the masjid administration dismissed him from his position and was asked to empty the house he was allotted next to the masjid.
Farooq told Voicepk.net that they are now receiving support from the locals and the Masjid administration. He also said that other students of the Madrassah have confirmed that Qari Tufail raped them as well.
Several attempts were made by Voicepk.net to talk to Phalia Police Station but calls remained unanswered.
*The name has been changed to protect the survivor’s identity.