According to reports, police in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, rescued more than 50 young girls from an Islamic seminary after complaints the seminary manager was sexually harassing and beating the girls.
In a written complaint, the girls had accused the manager of beating and molesting them and forcing them to dance to vulgar songs at the Jamia Khadeejtul Qubra Lilabna seminary, located in Shahadatganj area in Lucknow, India TV reported.
Lucknow Police conducted a raid and arrested the manager, identified as Mohammad Taiyab Zia, and reported it to the government’s Child Welfare Committee.
“We found 51 students who were held hostage in the madrassa. The culprit is arrested and we are doing our investigation. He used to molest those students and also beat them,” Deepak Kumar, senior superintendent of police told India TV.
About 125 girls study at the seminary, but only 51 were found at the time the police raided the building.
About 20 percent of the of the population of the Uttar Pradesh state is Muslim. Islamic seminaries in India, known as madrassas, are generally not viewed as extremist.
“For young village children, these schools may be their only path to literacy,” noted The Diplomat in a recent article. “For many orphans and the rural poor, madrassas provide essential social services: education and lodging for children who otherwise could well find themselves the victims of forced labor, sex trafficking, or other abuses.”