‘Possessed’ headteacher arrested over child rapes

DHAKA (AFP) – Bangladeshi police have arrested a religious school’s principal for allegedly raping at least a dozen children under his care, an official said on Friday, sparking demonstrations by hundreds of people.

Al Amin, the head teacher and founder of the Baitul Huda Cadet Madrassa at Fatulla outside Dhaka, claimed innocence, saying he was “possessed”

Madrassas are religious institutions that provide everything from basic education to graduate-level religious studies.

Elite police from the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested the teacher on Thursday after the mother of a 10-year-old student filed a rape complaint against him.

Local RAB chief Lieutenant Colonel Kazi Samser Uddin said the young girl watched a TV news report on serious sexual assault and told her mother that the seminary founder “did the same to her”.

“The mother immediately rushed to us with the complaint. Then we arrested the principal,” Uddin told AFP.

The teacher later admitted he forcibly had sexual intercourse with several of his minor students.

“We found he raped and sexually assaulted at least 12 girls in the madrassa,” Uddin said.

Hundreds of local people protested in the town demanding justice and exemplary punishment of the principal, who is also an imam of a local mosque.

The police also last week arrested two high school teachers at a nearby town for allegedly raping 20 students.