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Prominent Pakistani cleric arrested, charged with sexual abuse

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(Last Updated On: June 21, 2021)

Pakistan police on Sunday arrested Mufti Azizur Rehman, former vice-president of the main opposition party of Pakistan Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Lahore and a “Sheikh-al-Hadith” or “Scholar of Hadith” of Lahore’s seminary Jamia Manzoorul Islamia, on charges of sexual abuse.

According to the UAE’s Gulf News, a police team from Lahore carried out a raid on a house Rehman was reportedly hiding in and also took his two sons into custody.

Rehman is accused of sexually assaulting one of his students at his seminary.

The case was registered against Rehman after a video clip showing him allegedly sexually assaulting one of his students went viral on social media.

The JUI-F dissociated itself with the suspect immediately after the scandal came to light and demands were made on social media for exemplary action against the cleric, Gulf News reported.

The complainant said in his statement to police he had been studying at the Jamia when Rehman banned him from writing three exams.

Gulf News reported that the complainant said he pleaded with Rehman to reconsider the decision upon which the cleric agreed but on condition of sexual favour.

“It was purely for the sake of passing the exam and under duress that I agreed to become a victim. He also promised me that he would have my ban removed and get me to pass the Wifaqul Madaris exam,” the complainant said.

“I lodged complaints with the administration of the seminary several times but no one was ready to believe me,” said the complainant.

It was then that he started to secretly film the abuse and collected evidence.

“When Mufti Aziz came to know that, he threatened to kill me,” the young man told the police. “A few days ago, when someone uploaded the video on social media, I got scared and went into hiding,” the student further said in the charge-sheet.

Rehman denies the allegations and said in a video statement that he was drugged by his student, Gulf News reported.

“In fact, the boy gave me sedatives in my tea and after that I lost all my senses,” he said, adding the biggest proof of his ‘piety’ was that in the video footage it could be seen that his body was not even moving.

“If I were in my senses, how could I remain ignorant of the fact that he was making a video from his phone,” asked the cleric in his video statement.

Rehman is expected to appear in court on Monday.

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China continues military drills around Taiwan

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(Last Updated On: August 8, 2022)

China’s military said on Monday it is continuing drills in the seas and skies around Taiwan.

The Eastern Theater Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army said on social media Weibo that it will practice conducting anti-submarine attacks and sea raids, Reuters reported.

The military has carried out an unprecedented set of naval and air force drills in areas near Taiwan following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island last week.

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Bus crash in Croatia leaves 12 Polish pilgrims dead, 32 injured

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(Last Updated On: August 7, 2022)

Twelve people were killed in Croatia on Saturday when a Polish bus filled with religious pilgrims slipped off a road and crashed near Varazdin, authorities said, Reuters reported.

Thirty-two people were injured in the crash which happened at 5:40 a.m. (0340 GMT) on the highway between Varazdin, in northwest Croatia, and capital Zagreb.

Croatian Health Minister Vili Beros said 19 people were in a serious condition.

According to Reuters Marcin Przydacz, deputy head of the Polish Foreign Ministry, who was travelling to the site on Saturday, said the injured were being treated at five hospitals in Croatia.

He said there were 44 Polish pilgrims on the bus driving from Poland to Medjugorje, a Roman Catholic shrine in southern Bosnia, including two drivers. Among them were three priests and six nuns, a ministry spokesman said.

Police cleared the area where the accident took place after firefighters and medical teams recovered all the occupants of the vehicle which had Warsaw registration plates, read the report.

Polish police officers, in Croatia as part of project “Safe Tourist Destination” project, were helping Croatian authorities in communicating with the survivors.

An investigation has been started into the cause of the accident.

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Taiwan official leading missile production dies of heart attack

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(Last Updated On: August 6, 2022)

The deputy head of Taiwan defence ministry’s research and development unit was found dead on Saturday morning in a hotel room, succumbing to a heart attack, according to the official Central News Agency.

Ou Yang Li-hsing, deputy head of the military-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, had died in a hotel room in southern Taiwan, CNA reported.

Authorities said 57-year-old Ou Yang died of a heart attack and the hotel room showed no sign of any ‘intrusion’, CNA said.

His family said he had a history of heart disease and had a cardiac stent, according to the report, Reuters reported.

Ou Yang was on a business trip to the southern county of Pingtung, CNA said, adding that he had assumed the post early this year to supervise various missile production projects.

The military-owned body is working to more than double its yearly missile production capacity to close to 500 this year, as the island boosts its combat power amid what it sees as China’s growing military threat.

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