Cleric arrested from Panvel for sexually assaulting minor boy
NAVI MUMBAI: A 34- year- old Muslim cleric from Panvel was arrested on Friday for sexually abusing a minor boy.
According to the police, Sohail Abdul Salam would teach religious texts at a mosque where around 30 students, including the 12-year-old victim, attended his classes.
“The students were divided into two batches. Around 15 days ago, the cleric asked the boy to accompany him to his home after class on the pretext of giving him clothes and other goods,” said SB Sahane, assistant police inspector from Panvel city police station.
“The cleric is married but his family members were not at home that day. Taking advan- tage of the situation, he sexually assaulted the boy and then asked him not to reveal it to anyone,” Sahane said.
The cleric allegedly repeated the crime on two to three more occasions in the next two weeks.
The boy, who was too scared to tell his parents, finally mustered courage and narrated the incident to his father on Thursday. His father then approached the police.
“We have registered a first information report( FIR) under sections 9(f),(l) and 10 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, and arrested the accused,” said Sahane.
The court has remanded the cleric in police custody for three days.
Sahane said the police were investigating if the cleric had assaulted other students.
“We are interacting with other students, but no one has come forward with similar complaints so far,” said Sahane.