A total of 36 students were rescued by the police from a Pune Madrasa on Friday after reports of sexual abuse surfaced. The children, who come from Bihar, as as young as 5 years of age.
The Maulana of the Madrasa, 21-year-old Rahim, had been arrested on charges of sexual assault in Pune's Katraj suburb after two 10-year-old children ran away from the Madrasa.
After they were rescued by a Child Welfare Committee, they said that they ran away as one of the clerics who visited the institution used to sexually abuse another inmate. They also reportedly revealed that revealed that Rahim would ask them them to undress and then touch their private parts.
"A committee member asked them why they ran away. They revealed that one Maulana Rahim sexually abuses brother of one of them and they were scared," a police officer had said.
Dr Yamini Adbe, a child rights activist, then lodged a police complaint.
"Maulana of a Madrasa has been arrested for sexually assaulting his students in Katraj, Pune. Total 36 students have been rescued. We have registered a case against him. Further investigation underway," said Kondhwa police inspector Milind Gaikwad.
The madrasa reportedly had children from Bihar, who are aged between 5 and 14. They have been now shifted elsewhere, police has said.
"We arrested Rahim, who belongs to Bihar, under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act," he added.
(With Inputs From PTI, ANI)