Tuesday Jun 22, 2021
LAHORE: A sessions court on Tuesday granted interim bail till June 30 to three sons of former JUI-F leader Mufti Azizur Rehman in a seminary student sexual assault case.
The court sought record of the case from the police till the next date of hearing.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Nauman Muhammad Naeem heard the bail applications of Latifur Rehman, Waseemur Rehman and Wasiur Rehman, sons of Mufti Azizur Rehman.
A counsel for the petitioners argued before the court that the police had registered a sexual assault and criminal intimidation case against Mufti Rehman and others.
He submitted that the police had also nominated various unknown persons in the matter and it was feared that police might arrest his clients.
The lawyer submitted that his clients did not have any link to the case and pleaded with the court to grant bail to them.
At this, the court restrained the police from arresting the petitioners till June 30 and sought a record of the case from it.
On June 17, the North Cantonment police had registered a case under charges of sexual assault and criminal intimidation against Mufti Rehman and others.
The case was registered after a video of the cleric, which showed him sexually assaulting a student at a seminary, provoked outrage on social media.
Thereafter, the police raided the madressah to look for Aziz and his sons as it was reported he frequently stayed there.
In his video, the student said Aziz had "sexually abused" him and then the cleric's sons started "blackmailing and threatening to kill" him.
"If justice is not done, I will commit suicide," the student had warned.
Superintendent Asadullah Farooq said Aziz and his sons had been asked to leave the madressah and the institution was not responsible for any of their acts.
Once police registered a case against Aziz, he fled from the madressah to avoid arrest and sought refuge in the houses of some of his students. The police said Aziz went into hiding in different areas, including Township, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, and Mianwali.
They said that Aziz and his sons were traced via the location of their mobile phones. They were hiding in Mianwali when the police finally arrested them.
On Monday police said that he "confessed to his crime during interrogation".
Aziz and his sons were presented before the Cantt court, police said. During the proceedings, the police requested the court for physical remand of the cleric.
The court, in response, granted the permission to carry out a four-day physical remand of the accused, while also ordering a DNA test and medical examination.
According to the police, Aziz, the former superintendent of the Jamia Manzor Al-Islamia in Lahore Cantt, confessed that the viral video featured him and it was stealthily filmed by his student.
The cleric also confessed that he had lured the student with passing marks in exams and had later sexually abused him. He also said that once the video went viral, he was fearful of the repercussions.
Aziz told the police that his sons had threatened the student and told him not to speak to anyone about it. However, despite the threats, the student went ahead and posted the video online.
The cleric also said that he issued a video statement because he did not want to leave the madressah, adding that following the video leak, the administration of the madressah urged him to leave his job.
Before his Monday confession, Aziz had claimed that the video was two-and-a-half years to three years old and that the student was being "used against" him.
"I declare under oath that I did not do such an act while in my senses. I was given something intoxicating and I was not in my senses," he had claimed in a video message.
Meanwhile, JUI Lahore's secretary-general also issued a notice stating that after the video, the party had suspended the membership of Mufti Azizur Rehman and that it would remain revoked till the investigation concludes.