Cleric, sexual assault victim undergo medical test

LAHORE: The cleric who was charged with sexually abusing his student at a religious school and the alleged victim have undergone a medical examination, police said on Wednesday.

The examination, conducted by the Punjab Forensic Science Agency, was ordered by the court, police said. The report will be handed over to the police later this week.

The agency has also saved the DNA of the suspect, Mufti Azizur Rehman, in its database.

Aziz, an active member of Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s faction of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam, was arrested along with his two sons from a hideout in Mianwali on Sunday after evading arrest for more than a week.

The first information report was registered against him days after cellphone videos purporting to show the cleric forcing himself on the student went viral on social media.

The case has caused a stir, and outrage on social media, with many calling for a strict punishment for the cleric.

“We will take it as a test case, interrogate him, conduct scientific professional investigation, prosecute and get him convicted by the court,” Punjab police chief Inam Ghani tweeted following the arrest.

Aziz denied the allegation of rape in a video statement issued on social media, saying that he was drugged before the filming of the alleged abuse. He said this was part of a plot to throw him out of the seminary — the Jamia Manzoorul Islamia.

The student, who police said appeared to be in his early 20s, said in his complaint that he has given several video and audio recordings to help police investigate, adding he had gone into hiding because he had received death threats.

The police said the student had told them that the cleric had been abusing him for several years. He said he started filming the abuse after he got sick of it, and sent the video clips of the abuse to the head of the Wifaqul Madaris, the body that oversees the religious schools system.

Aziz is currently on a four-day physical remand and will be produced before the court Thursday.

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