In a disturbing incident reported from Pakistan's Punjab province, two teachers from a seminary in Chakwal district have been apprehended for allegedly sexually assaulting at least 15 minor male students, aged between 10 and 12. The arrests follow a complaint filed by the father of one victim, who approached the Punjab police seeking assistance after his son disclosed the harrowing experiences of abuse suffered at the hands of the accused teachers, Zeeshan and Anis.
The Punjab Inspector General Police (IGP), Usman Anwar, disclosed that the number of victims may increase as the investigation progresses. All 15 victims and their parents have provided statements, and medical examinations have confirmed the occurrence of rape. Shockingly, knife and bite marks were discovered on the bodies of the young victims, highlighting the severity of the abuse.
The scandal unfolded when the father of one victim visited the seminary and learned about the traumatic experiences endured by his son and other classmates. The police acted promptly upon the father's report, raiding the seminary and apprehending the accused teachers. The victims recounted instances of torture inflicted by the suspects, emphasizing their resistance to submitting to the appalling acts.
Adding to the gravity of the situation, DNA samples were collected from the crime scene by the Punjab Forensic Science Agency. The suspects reportedly used a knife to inflict cut marks on the students' bodies, marking them with a 'Z,' as mentioned in the FIR. Shockingly, the seminary's management had been informed about the abuse a month prior to the incident, raising questions about the institution's response to such serious allegations.
Punjab caretaker chief minister Mohsin Naqvi has pledged "instant justice" for the victim families, assuring that the perpetrators will face the maximum punishment for their heinous crimes. Activists and civil society groups in Pakistan have long been advocating for a robust monitoring mechanism in seminaries to curb incidents of abuse.