Nanded/Aurangabad: A cleric in a Nanded madrassa allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl and molested another minor, police have said.
Shockingly, three local politicians from Majalgaon village, from where the girl who was allegedly raped hailed, tried to pressure her mother not to file a case against the cleric, identified as Maulavi Saber Farooqui, who is at large, a Nanded police official said.
On the complaint of the girl's mother filed at the Itwara police station in Nanded, the three leaders were arrested from Majalgaon yesterday, he said.
They are identified as Khalil Patel, Nawab Patel, and Ibrish Bagwan.
While Nawab Patel is reportedly a former Nanded city unit president of the NCP, Bagwan is Majalgaon taluka president of the AIMIM. Khalil Patel is a former councillor.
The alleged incident occurred at Islamia Arabia seminary in the Deglur Naka area of Nanded a few days ago, according to police.
Many girl students from the Marathwada region pursue Islamic studies at the madrassa.
According to the police official, Farooqui allegedly raped the 12-year-old girl after showing her a porn clip on his mobile phone and molested another girl (8).
A Special Investigative Team (SIT) has been set up to probe the incident.
SIT head Sunita Borgaonkar said more complaints could be filed against the accused.
"Police have seized documents from the madrassa and teams have been fanned out to trace the cleric," she said.
According to unconfirmed reports, Farooqui had approached the girl's mother in Majalgaon to settle the matter, but was allegedly thrashed by local youths.
However, police refused to confirm the reports.
Police have registered a case against the cleric on charges of rape and molestation of the IPC and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
However, it is not known which sections were slapped on the three leaders.