Pakistani cleric sentenced to death for raping minor in Peshawar

Islamabad: A Pakistani court has sentenced a cleric to death for sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl in Peshawar city two years ago. 

A child protection court on Saturday convicted a cleric for sexually assaulting the minor in 2019, the Dawn reported.

Judge Wadeeya Mustaq Malik ruled that Qari Saeed, based in Peshawar, was found guilty of rape and was convicted under Section 376(3) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The court also ruled that as the girl had suffered mental and physical anguish and long life trauma, so the convict should compulsorily pay a fine of Rs 300,000 to her in the form of saving certificates to be withdrawn by her on attaining the age of 18 years.

“As far as the quantum of sentence is concerned, no mitigating circumstances could be found and rather, aggravating circumstances exist. The rape was committed of a girl aged eight years,” Malik ruled, adding that the convict was a mosque’s pesh imam (prayer leader), who committed the crime in one of its rooms.

The court observed that the convict held a master’s degree in Islamiyat and led Friday prayers in his mosque.

The ruling added that the offence was gruesome as the convict also committed sexual violence by biting and bruising the child on her neck.

The judge ruled: “The statement of child witness not only found confidence-inspiring, truthful but also has not been contradicted on the material aspect.

An FIR of the sexual assault was registered by the police on March 14, 2019, on the complaint of the father of the girl, who accompanied him.

The complainant had said he and other family members were present in their house when his daughter returned from outside crying and said Qari Saeed called her to the mosque on the pretext of giving away an amulet but sexually assaulted her in a room there.

The convict didn’t accept the charge and claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case at the behest of the Ahmadi community as he was very vocal against it.

He, however, failed to prove that claim.