ISLAMABAD – Police in Pakistan have arrested a cleric accused of beating a 9-year-old boy to death for leaving the religious school where he studied without permission, police told EFE on Monday.
Sharafat Ali, the police inspector in charge of the investigation, said that the cleric Qari Nizamuddin beat his student Mohammed Hussain with a stick in the presence of his older brother until he died as punishment for repeatedly running away from the school.
Police have arrested Nizamuddin, despite the victim’s parents choosing not to press charges against the cleric, Ali confirmed.
The recent rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl in the eastern city of Kasur has caused outrage in the country and led to violent protests against the perceived inaction by police and the political establishment.
Police believe that the crime was committed by a serial rapist and killer involved in at least 8 of 12 such cases registered in the city last year.
Another protest against alleged police inaction was held on Wednesday after the rape and murder of a girl in Mardan in northeastern Pakistan.
In March 2016, Pakistan passed a law criminalizing child sexual abuse and child pornography after a pedophilia scandal in Kasur involving photos and videos of 19 minors.
Despite that law, NGOs and activists claim that the country lacks the mechanisms to prevent or tackle endemic violence against children in Pakistan.