Kerala cleric accused of sexually assaulting teen arrested in Madurai
A Muslim cleric, absconding after an alleged sexual assault on a 15-year-old girl near Thiruvananthapuram, was arrested in Madurai in Tamil Nadu on Thursday, police said.
Shafeeq Al Qasimi, who was removed as imam of a nearby mosque after the assault came to light, was arrested from a lodge in the temple city, senior Kerala cop Ashok Kumar told PTI.
Qasimi had been on the run for the last one month and shifted his place of stay with the help of a relative, who was also arrested and their car seized, Mr Kumar said.
A case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act had been registered against him based on the mosque committee's statement.
Qasimi had allegedy lured the girl to an isolated forest area at Vithura, near the state capital, and sexually assaulted her.
The abuse came to light after a group of local women confronted the cleric on seeing him with the school-going girl in the forest.