Delhi MP accuses cleric in alleged rape of girl rescued from Ghaziabad madrasa
The alleged abduction and rape of a 10-year-old girl, who was rescued from a Ghaziabad madrasa, took a political turn on Wednesday with East Delhi MP Maheish Girri demanding the immediate arrest of a cleric in the case.
The Ghazipur resident, who went missing on April 21, was rescued a day later from the madrasa in Arthala area of Ghaziabad.
The police apprehended a 17-year-old student of the madrasa and booked him for rape. But the family alleged three others, including a cleric heading the madrasa, had also sexually assaulted her.
After meeting the girl’s family on Wednesday, Girri claimed the cleric was the mastermind. Fellow BJP workers and a few other people blocked roads on both sides of the Delhi-Ghaziabad border in the day. Girri later led a candlelight march from the Central Secretariat metro station to India Gate in the evening.
“The cleric and others should be immediately arrested as the apprehended boy is a pawn in the larger conspiracy the maulana hatched. We demand the rapists be hanged and the madrasa where the crime took place be sealed with immediate effect,” said Girri.
Crime branch officers, who took over the probe from the east district police, said the girl had named only the boy in her statement before the magistrate.
But Girri said the girl was sedated and was in a mental trauma, and so he was relying on the statements of her family. However, Girri said he hadn’t spoken to the girl directly.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who also met the family, said he would talk to UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
Delhi Police spokesperson Dependra Pathak said all allegations and circumstances will be taken into account. “We have apprehended the boy and the case has been transferred to the crime branch. We are examining all allegations and will act if these are substantiated,” Pathak said.
A crime branch team visited the madrasa. Investigators continued to question the cleric, saying they had not given him a clean chit yet.
Traffic movement was affected when locals and members of different outfits protested on NH-24 on both sides of the Delhi-Ghaziabad border — near Khoda and the Ghazipur chicken market — and demanded immediate arrest of the 40-year-old cleric.
The residents of the Ghaziabad neighbourhood where the madarsa is located held a candle light march on Tuesday night. “We demand closure of the madarsa. The cleric and the girl’s family were neighbours but were not in touch. The cleric’s family ran away after locking their house after police raided the madarsa,” said Pramod Kumar, a local resident.
The girl’s religion was mentioned in the placards the protesters were carrying during the India Gate vigil. But Girri and his fellow workers said they wanted justice for the child and did not want to communalise the matter.
The name of the boy, a minor, was on the posters, banners, placards and slogans. This is in violation of the Supreme Court directions prohibiting naming of any accused under the age of 18 on public platforms.