The Eloor police registered the FIR against Mohammed Unaiz based on the girl’s statement to the Ernakulam Childline.

Kerala madrassa teacher arrested for sexually assaulting 11-year-old girl
news Crime Thursday, March 07, 2019 - 14:39

It was her low grades, poor performance in studies and silence that caught the attention of her school teacher. When the teachers pulled her up, the 11-year-old girl reluctantly revealed something shocking. The male teacher at her madrassa in Eloor, Ernakulam district, had allegedly been sexually assaulting her for several months. The teachers immediately alerted the district childline, which filed a complaint with the Eloor police.

The accused, identified as 31-year-old Mohammed Unaiz, was arrested on Monday. “We received the girl’s statement from the Ernakulam Childline. Based on this, we registered the FIR on March 1, following which, we arrested and remanded Unaiz on Monday,” a police officer at the Eloor station told TNM.

The case came to Childline’s attention on March 1. “The counsellor at the school called us on 1098 child helpline and registered the complaint,” the Coordinator at Ernakulam Childline told TNM.

Based on this, a Childline team was sent to the school to inquire. “The Class 5 student told us that the man was constantly molesting her. He would slip his hand inside her pardah and sexually assault the girl. We don't know if he has committed the crime against any other girl students in the madrassa,” he said. 

The coordinator, however, alleged that like in any other sexual abuse case involving a religious leader, the parents were reluctant to take the case up.

“The child informed her parents about the sexual abuse. But they did not take it seriously as the accused was a madrassa teacher. We not only gave emotional support to the girl but had to counsel the parents to take legal recourse. Generally, a lot of parents are not willing to pursue the case legally, thinking it will jeopardise their child’s future or will cause them harm in some way. Once the parents agreed, we intimated the police, took her statement and sent the child back home,” said the coordinator. 

Mohammed Unaiz, a native of Malappuram, has been booked for non-bailable offences: Section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code, Section 7 (any act done with sexual intent, involving physical contact) and Section (punishment for the offence) of the POCSO Act.

“He will be produced before a judicial magistrate court and his statement will be taken then,” said the police officer.

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