Mufti Aziz-ur-Rehman case: Lahore cleric’s physical remand extended

A Lahore court has extended the physical remand of Mufti Aziz-ur-Rehman, a Lahore-based cleric arrested for sexually abusing a madrassa student.

He was presented before the court on Friday where his DNA reports were submitted.

The police said that they need more time to question Rehman after which the court extended his remand by three days. He has been summoned on June 28.

The cleric was charged on June 16 after videos purporting to show him forcing himself on the student went viral on social media.

The student (who identified himself but who we will not name), had registered an FIR at North Cantt Police Station in Lahore. He said that he had been a student of Jamia Manzoorul Islamia since 2013. “During the exam of Darjah-e-Rabia (grade four), Mufti Aziz, who was the Nigran (caretaker) accused me and another guy of putting someone else in our place for the exam and had me banned from appearing in the Wifaqul Madaris exam for three years.”

He said that he pleaded with Mufti Aziz to reconsider the decision upon which the cleric said he would if the young man engaged with him sexually. “So, out of compulsion, I came into his deceit and became a victim. He also promised me that he would have my ban removed and get me to pass the Wifaqul Madaris exam.”

The man said he was sexually exploited every Friday for three years and blackmailed. He went to the madrassa administration but, according to him, they said this was not possible as the mufti was an old man and a pious person. They said he must be lying, according to the application made to the police.

He started secretly filming to collect evidence which he presented to Wifaqul Madari Nazim-e-Aala Hanif Jalandhary. “When Mufti Aziz came to know about this, he threatened to kill me,” the young man told the police. “A few days ago, when someone uploaded the video on social media, I got scared and went into hiding.”

Aziz had denied the accusation of sexual abuse in a video statement and claimed that he was drugged by his student before he was filmed.

The cleric had claimed that the videos were a conspiracy to remove him from Jamia Manzoorul Islamia, Lahore.

He was terminated by his madrassa and his party, the JUI-F, suspended his party membership after the videos went viral.

Rehman confessed to the heinous crime in police custody on June 20.

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