A 14-year-old girl is in an Indian hospital with excruciating pain in her private parts following a sexual assault by a Muslim cleric.
Maulvi Syed Wazir of Ramanagaram was arrested on Wednesday when the crime came to light.
He allegedly thrust an iron rod into the girl’s private parts.
Doctors are treating the girl at an ICU in Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital (MIMS). The minor recognised Syed Wazir when the Ramanagaram police took his photograph to the hospital on Wednesday morning.
The victim is a 9th standard student and a resident of a village in Maddur taluk of Mandya district.
For her summer holidays, she had visited her grandmother’s house in a village in Ramnagaram district.
She developed high fever and her mother took her to various hospitals. When that didn’t help, she took her to many places of worship, but the fever persisted. Since the medicines had failed, the mother suspected some evil spirit was causing the illness. “We decided to take her to the dargah near the railway gate in Kothanahalli,” she said.
Syed Wazir, the maulvi there, performed a ritual and gave the girl an amulet, telling the family to return after a few days. The girl’s mother, a relative and the victim made a second visit to the dargah.
He made the women sit outside and took the girl inside a room. He locked the room and allegedly made her undress and lie down on the floor. He then pushed an iron rod into her private parts, said police.
The girl ran out screaming. The mother assumed he had performed some exorcism ritual and did not ask too many questions.
The girl began to complain of severe abdomen and stomach pain. Her parents took her to Mandya and admitted her to hospital on June 4.
The doctors started to treat her for joint pains. The girl kept mum about the sexual assault.
On June 7, talking to the attendant of a patient in the adjoining bed, she revealed what the maulvi had allegedly done. The girl’s mother and relatives then came to know of the assault. Members of the voluntary organisation, Jaya Karnataka, brought the assault to the notice of Superintendent of Police Bhushan Gulabrao Borase and Ramanagaram inspector Subramanya.
On Wednesday, Subramanya and two other policemen went to MIMS Hospital with a photo of the maulvi and showed it to the girl.
She immediately identified him, and later told reporters, “I recognised him but I do not know his name. I have told the police what happened that day.”
Meanwhile, MIMS medical superintendent K Shivakumar said the girl was under clinical treatment. “The police have to give us a letter asking us to convert it to a medico-legal case,” he said.
Shivakumar said the assault came to light during a complete check-up, after doctors found a pelvic infection. Specialists first suspected tuberculosis and got to work removing the pus in the pelvic region. They have now sent a sample to a lab to ascertain the cause of the infection.
District Child Protection Officer S Diwakar said the maulvi has been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Assault Act of 2012. Under that law, it is an offence to touch the private parts of a child. “We are also trying to get compensation for the girl,” he said.
Members of a group demonstrated in front of the hospital on Wednesday. They said they would start a state-wide agitation if no action was taken against the maulvi. The protesters demanded exemplary punishment and urged the police to provide protection to the victim’s family.