A 61-year-old madarsa teacher, identified by the name of Yusuf, was arrested by the police in Kodungallur, Kerala on May 27th on allegations of sexually assaulting several minors over a period of many years. He was on the run for almost 2 weeks ever since the parents had complained to the authorities that Yusuf had sexually abused their son.
Yusuf was a native of Aluva and is was employed as a madarsa teacher in a mosque in Thalayolaparambu, Kottayam for the past 2 years. Though he was pursued after a single incident came to light, the police believe that he has abused several of his students.
“The Chief Imam of the mosque would not visit the madarsa for three days a week. This is when Yusuf would pick his victims, take them to a private room and abuse them,” said Soofi TM, Sub Inspector of Thalayolaparambu station.
Yusuf picks out victims who are less than 10 years old to ensure that the crime isn’t reported. “Since children that young are naive and are unlikely to understand what sexual abuse is, he relied on this,” he added
He earned the trust of the locals by regularly arranging prayers and speeches to avoid suspicion. He convinced mosque authorities to arrange a private room for him. Yusuf used to lure students into the room where he had abused most of the victims.
Yusuf’s acts came to light when young boy narrated the instead of his abuse to his parents. The parents complained to the mosque authorities following which Yusuf was fired and a complaint was filed with the police. The police failed to nab him as Yusuf runs away from home. He goes on to visit mosques in Palakkad and Thrissur addressing gatherings during Ramzan.
The police do not know exactly how many kids he has abused so far, they are coordinating with the mosque authorities hoping the children would speak up.
However, despite the arrest, it is being alleged that he was let off after reaching a settlement with the parents of the abused child.
Aluva, Kerala: Madrassa horror shocks India. Cops arrest cleric for assaulting 19 children. More details by Vivek. pic.twitter.com/YJs28srhOM
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The police have said that Yusuf claimed to be a victim of sexual abuse himself. “Yusuf confessed he has been raping kids since the age of 25. He himself was a victim of sexual assault when he was a child. He took revenge by raping the daughter of the man who raped him. As kids won’t complain and often have no knowledge about the legal actions, Yusuf continued with his criminal behaviour. Even in this case, the parents of the two kids and Mahallu committee took a while to register their complaint,” said the SI.
In 2018 a Madrassa teacher was held for sexually assaulting a minor. A similar incident happened in Maharashtra where Muslim politicians tried to save the Muslim cleric accused of rape. In April the police have arrested a close aide of the Kerala nun rape case accused Franco Mulakkal after unaccounted cash was recovered from his residence.