On September 14, a science exhibition was held in the premises of Azaan International School, Toli Chowki, where all the teachers and staff were present. Taking advantage of this, Mohammed Jeelani the supervisor of the school since 2014, allegedly lured a four and a half year old girl with a chocolate and took her to the toilet of the first floor where he sexually assaulted her.
When the father brought her home from school, the little girl complained of pain in her private parts and when her mother undressed the girl she saw the injured bleeding vagina and was shaken. When asked, the girl told her mother that Jeelani uncle did this to her. So the shocked and furious parents immediately went to the school and along with one of the teachers rushed her to the closest hospital.
After primary treatment the doctor there advised them to go Niloufer Hospital run by the Government as it was a police case; they went back to the school where the girl narrated the nightmare and identified Jeelani as the rapist.
Hoping the school to take action the parents took the girl to Niloufer hospital where the girl was admitted in the emergency ward and treated. A surgery was performed to repair the damaged parts of the girl.
Inaction of school authorities and public fury:
The school headmistress allegedly took no action from her side even after the girl identified the culprit one of their staff members right in front of her. It is also alleged that they tried to hush up the incident. It was the parents who filed a complaint at 6 pm and a FIR was thereupon issued.
By this time the news became public, many parents and others gathered at the school to protest but the school was locked. The mob broke open the gate and rushed in shouting slogans. Police had to use mild lathi charge to control them and deployed police personnel near the school and also imposed Section 144 of IPC.
Press statement of Police:
The Golconda police however sent a press release on the same day i.e., 14th in which all the facts were clearly stated and the sections that were slapped on the accused who was taken in police custody were also mentioned.
- A criminal case No: 334/2018 was registered and 376 2(i) IPC and section 5(M) r/w 6 Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act-2012.
- The police assured that investigations are on and no stone will be left unturned to punish the culprit.
- The accused was arrested the next day on 15th September at 9.30 pm.
- Forensic reports are awaited and the trial is set up to be conducted in a fast track court.
Preventing people from protesting:
When a fact-finding committee approached the SHO of Golconda PS in the evening around 6 pm, they saw some boys between 17 to 20 years detained there and their relatives waiting outside helplessly. Upon asking one of the boys said he was detained for his post on Facebook about a rally to protest in front of Azaan International School on 17th morning (Monday). He had requested his friends and all others to join the rally and make it a success through his post. He posted it in the night and in the morning was picked up from his home and brought to the police station. He was kept somewhere inside so his family who were not informed his whereabouts and had come to the PS did not see him there. It was only in the evening his family saw him in the reception area seated on the floor huddled in a corner like a criminal.
And within half an hour, a few more boys were brought in. And all for the same reason: posts on conducting a protest rally.
By imposing section 144, the police had already ensured that there would be no rallies or gatherings of any kind anywhere near the school. So what was the need for picking up the boys for their posts?
The boys were later released late evening on the condition that they delete the posts.
The school is being heavily guarded from all sides by police night and day for fear of damage to the property. This has made the people skeptical about the safety being offered to an institute that could not provide safety to a little girl who is their pupil.
Meanwhile, well-wishers and ill-wishers were busy on the social media circulating video of the father carrying his daughter showing the face of the girl who is seen crying uncontrollably. Images of the girl with captions saying that the 4-year-old girl of Aazan International school who has been raped has died in the hospital and May Allah grant her Jannat were also doing the rounds.
However, when the fact-finding committee met the family and the doctors, they were informed that the girl is recovering and will soon be in a position to be discharged from the hospital
Even after three days of the incident with the anguished parents being busy in the hospital and supporters prevented from staging any kind of protest, no political leader came out in support of the girl and her parents.
People were talking about that the school management offering Rs 25 lakh to the MLA of Tolichowki to remain silent and not press the issue. Somehow it seemed to fit in because the other corporate institutions run by the minorities in Hyderabad were all silent over the issue. In fact they were trying to sweep it under the carpet and trivializing the issue.
Someone from the management of another prestigious minority institute was supposed to have said, “ there are only a handful of institutions run by the minority and we can’t allow Azaan school to be closed down.”
There was another unspoken truth that these minority schools/ institutions which charged a bomb in the name of fees allegedly funded the popular political party of Hyderabad – AIMIM which was why there was no statement from Asaduddin Owaisi who is usually at the forefront in rendering support for Muslim causes.
However, angered with all this indifference, the father of the girl Imran Ahmed said that the school management has given Rs 25 lakh to the MLA Kausar Mohiuddin to stay silent. This news reached the MLA and his cronies who met the father intimidated him and made him apologize for issuing a false statement and video recorded the same and made it viral on Face book, YouTube, WhatsApp and Twitter.
This action angered sensitive people who felt this was further traumatizing the traumatized father while some supporters of MIM said the father has expressed his thanks for the support he is receiving from the MLA and cleared his misunderstanding. It was clearly a scripted statement as can be seen in the video.
AIMIM supremo steps in:
MP Asaduddin Owaisi released a press statement on 17th September supporting the parents of the girl, demanding stringent action against the school by asking that the school be de-recognised. He even met the parents and took them to the City Commissioner of Police Anjani Kumar where they were assured full support.
A majority of the people in Hyderabad and Telangana state are fans of Asadduddin Owaisi and Pro AIMIM so they conveniently justified the delay as ‘leaders are usually busy with their hands full and step in only when they see the necessity’ and that leadership level statements should be given time.
But there are still others in the minority who saw this as a move taken in necessity to garner votes in the upcoming elections that are going to be held soon in Telangana State.
Rival politicians take advantage:
After talks of Rs 25 lakh and the delay in taking stand by the AIMIM MP and MLA, rival politicians began circulating their own videos condemning and criticizing the AIMIM.
Two very prominent ones were from the social worker, political activist Yasmeen Arora Munshi who has released several videos in the past on various issues. She abused the AIMIM leaders in the choicest of languages for allegedly taking 25 lakh and not supporting the victim and her family.
The other one was from the controversial Raja Singh Lodh the BJP MLA from Gosha Mahal constituency Hyderabad. Surprisingly Raja Singh, who always spews venom against Muslims, spoke kindly to them in the video. He asked what good are their leaders if they don’t stand up for your rights especially when a small child is raped? He is seen telling the Muslims that their leaders (AIMIM) have sold them and all they want is money and are not bothered about the poor Muslims. He also said he has been making all those hate filled statements because the Muslim leaders behave in such a manner.
This video has received likes from the Muslims too who appreciated Raja Singh, perhaps for the first time. Raja Singh has at least 19 cases booked against him for hate mongering and spreading enmity between different religious groups. Raja Singh had resigned to focus on cow protection but his resignation was not accepted.
School management finally speaks out:
On September 18, the school management called for a press conference wherein they said they were almost mob lynched and hence were in a shelter for their safety due to which they were not available.
Given the times we are living in, all it would take was a post on their Facebook page or Twitter handle to offer support to the victim and her family and assure all parents the safety of their children. And condemn the incident. This statement seemed unbelievable.
In their press conference, while they accepted that the safety of all the children of their school is their responsibility, they did not admit that they are responsible for this incident. Though monetary compensation and waiving off the fees of the girl is being offered, it does not make up for their irresponsibility and callousness they exhibited in the last few days.
Accusations on Local party bribing the parents:
Azaan international school’s minor rape case takes new turns, Now local party has been accused of bribing the victim’s parents For keep silence.
Reported previously that MLA of a local party offered 25 lakh rupees to the parents to close the case, but parents refused the offer.
After that Party leader taken the parents to the office of Police commissioner and district collector and asked for fast enquiry and also blackmailed the school.
After Taking the custody of Rape accused jeelani of 6 days there has been alot of rumours that the case has been tried to settle down with money.
Also reported that one leader has also proposed that this case should be refered to Crime station but still there is no response for the proposal, Doubtful role of the local party in this case is resuling as serious outrage in people
To solve this matter and the people’s outrage local MLA shamelessly rushed to the Victim’s father and started a dramatic midnight press conference and asked for an apology, where victims father apologized with media and cleared that there has been no offer from the party and thanked them for the help ,But till now there is only announcements but no help on ground level, School management has still not offered the amount they have announced and also even no medical help.
Some unanswered questions:
- Why the delay in the arrest of the accused even though the girl identified him the same day?
- Who are the police protecting? The accused or the victims?
- Inexplicable silence of the school authorities, other minority institutions, political leaders representing the Muslims of Hyderabad.
- Inexplicable silence of the Government of Telangana led by the TRS party which has friendly relations and is in collision with AIMIM.
- What action is going to be taken against the school management that has been so indifferent to this case? Is waiving off the fees enough?
What next in the case?
#KhabatLive gathered the different versions from lawyer, victim family, school management and political interventions and newly-formed parents body members.
Victim Family Version:
When #KhabarLive met the victim girls father he was visually very disturbed and was reluctant to talk. His brother came and talked to us. He said “We just demand justice be done to us, proper security must be given in the school campus, investigate other similar cases of allegations, make sure that such incidents are not repeated again. ”
Defence Lawyer Version:
The said accused Jeelani’s Lawyer Mohammed Aslam told #KhabarLive, “The accused was kept in Chanchalguda Jail in Hyderabad. He was produced on 24th Sep 2018 before the Court, the police requested 4 days custody for interrogation, but the Hon’ble Judge granted the police two days custody of the accused for conducting Potency Test, and directed to interrogate in presence of his defense lawyer.
But the interrogation got completed on 25th Sep 2018 itself. The accused was produced before the Court again on 26th Sep 2018, and was sent back to jail. We are waiting for the Potency Test results, the Hospital Test results of the victim, and the police investigation, later the chargesheet will be filed, and trial will start.”
Azaan School Management Version:
#KhabaLive met Azaan school management and talked to two persons, the Chairman and the Academic Dean who were both present on the campus on the ‘event day’, we asked questions which have been asked by people across Hyderabad on the minor girl molestation case. We are writing down answers to the asked questions. Excerpts:
Q : Can you recall what all happened on the date of the event ie 14th Sep 2018?
- The little girl’s school ends at 12:30 pm, later she was playing around in the campus on the swings with her cousin happily, and was also helping her cousin to play.
- Later around 12:50 pm her father came to pick her up, he went to talk with the teacher regarding her studies.
- After around 10 minutes the father took the daughter who went jumping along with him.
- After 30 minutes at around 1:30 pm the father came and complained to the school about a injury to the girl.
- The day being Friday, the management had gone to offer Friday prayers and came back around 2 pm.
- When the management came back, the girl was in the pre-primary area, was eating chocolates and playing with building blocks.
- The Headmistress along with the girl, her father & aunt went to Jayabhushan Hospital for the girl’s checkup.
- The father insisted this hospital as they have their family doctor there.
- The doctor after checkup suspected something odd happened with the girl.
- The father of the girl returned back to the school and demanded to see the CCTV footage.
- We took him to the surveillance room.
- Later the father said that the girl has identified the person with a white shirt, ie Jeelani, the accused.
- Some people came along with the father to the Correspondents room.
- Jeelani was brought before us and when question repeatedly, he denied the accusations.
- As the accused was denying the accusations, we found it better to call the police.
- The police arrived and the school correspondent gave a complaint letter to the police.
- Around 4 pm, the girl, her father, her aunt and a lady constable went to the Government Hospital for the girls checkup and tests, as a case complaint has been filed.
- The Headmistress wanted to join them, but was not allowed to go along.
- Around 4:30 pm, the said accused Jeelani was handed over to the police.
- Around 4:45 pm, lots of people started coming gathering and there was exchange of words with the management. The crowd was abusing us in filthy language.
- The mob started beating the staff members.
- 100’s of persons gathered outside the school.
- Around magrib prayer time, We called the local MLA to intervne and stop the mob.
- The crowd calmed for some time when the MLA came.
- After the MLA left, again the crowd got violent and started damaging the property.
- The mob tried hard to break the gates violently.
- We had to open the gates on the advice of the police.
- The mob came inside and started damaging the property, like window panes, bus glasses, office furniture, board, center table, chairs etc. Even stones were thrown at the school masjid windows and board.
- Around 8 pm, lady staff members were safely taken out of the school by the ACP.
- The Chairman stayed back to be with the staff.
- As the protest was going on, the police found a threat to the Chairman’s life and asked him to be escorted out of the campus.
- Around 11:15 pm, The Chairman and his wife were taken away in the police vehicle.
- Suddenly about 50 bikes followed this police vehicle.
- Unfortunately we had to stop at Masab Tank junction due to a traffic blockage.
- The persons from the bikes, got down, broke windscreen of the police vehicle, opened the doors and were pulling us out, we were almost killed.
- We tried very hard to save our lives and left immediately.
- Again at Paradise junction, Secunderabad we were locked in a traffic jam, and were attacked again by this mob on bikes.
- We were taken away to an unknown destination, and we had our phones shut off.
- We were asked to not come to school until the situation is under control.
- We closed the school from the day of the event.
Q: Where did you think all this mob of so many people gathered from? who organised this?
SM : We have no idea.
Q : What all cases have been filed? How many persons are accused in all?
SM : We have filed one case on the persons who have damaged our property. One Sub-inspector was attacked by the mob, so some persons are said to be prosecuted for that by police. Cases are also filed by the private persons whose vehicles were damage, and the police vehicle damaged.
Q : Your response to the incident is found to be late.Why were you not coming out and talking to media during first 1-2 days of the incident?
SM: The Academic Dean has been in the school premises since last 11 days and has not gone out. Because of the mob attack, we could not come out. Also, the Urdu letter circulated around in media was not written by us at all. Later we organised a press conference to talk on the issue.
Q : It is alleged that many CCTV cameras were not working. How many cameras do you have at your campus? Did you see the accused and the victim girl in the video? Why is the CCTV footage not being given to public when in many such cases we see the CCTV comes out?
SM: We believe the cameras were working. We have about 80 CCTV cameras. Due to being busy in solving the complaint by the father first, and later handling the mob and saving ourselves from the mob, we could not watch all the videos recorded on those 80 cameras. We could only see some video footage, by which we gave you
earlier information regarding the girl’s movement. On the day of the incident the whole Digital Video Recorders (DVR) were confiscated by the police and it is with them. It is only them who can investigate in detail or release it.
Q: Are you saying the accused has done the crime or not?
SM : We cant say anything as of now. We have not examined the complete tapes. Only the police investigation will reveal the truth.
Q : Some people say your school does not have International Standards to call itself International School? People says these so called International schools charge lakhs of rupees as fees and dont even have proper systems.
SM : Our school follows CBSE format. We adhere to the best educative methods & standards available, follow international activities, do visits, do online interaction with other countries. We have been awarded recently by the organisation British Council (UK) International School Award 2017-2020. No, we do not charge lakh rupees as fees. We started our school in 2006, and many other schools have followed our model. You cannot find any such Islamic school in Hyderabad with CBSE syllabus. We have around 60 Ulema teachers with average salary of Rs 15,000. We even provide lunch for primary school branch.
Q : If you are not sure about the crime being happened or not, why did you offer 5 lakh rupees to the child?
SM : We are also waiting for the investigation to give the truth out. We are not claiming that anything happened or not. We believe every child studying here is our child. We have declared it just on compassionate grounds only. The parents are traumatised. The community has to stand for the child and her parents. We will not charge any fees for the girl’s education till her 12th standard and will also put Rs 5 lakh in a fixed deposit for her.
Q : What kind of checking do you do before you hire a person?
SM : We take the educational certificates and verify them. We ask for references and talk to the references. We hire people from known persons usually.
Q : There has been demand to shut down the school, what do you want say?
SM: We have around 1700 students studying here. Let the investigation finish first. We are not in a situation to say anything right now. Why should we jeopardise the future of 1700 students before any investigation is done. Because of such threat, the school was closed since 10 days. Today was the first working day after the incident.
(Still Developing Story…..) #KhabarLive