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Over 50 ‘chained’ boys rescued from Pak seminary

Karachi: Over 50 boys under 18 years, who were kept chained in a basement of a seminary and allegedly sexually abused have been rescued in Pakistani port city of Karachi, police officials said today.

Even though officials said seminary’s administration was running a “detoxification unit” for drug addicts, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the police had been told to investigate thoroughly if the seminary had any link to the Tehreek-e-Taliban and if the children were being imparted terrorist training.

Police carried out the raid after receiving a tip-off that Mufti Dawood, the custodian of Jamia Masjid Zikria, had been keeping several students chained in the basement of the madrassa in Afghan Basti and subjecting them to torture and sexual abuse, Superintendent of Police Muhammad Altaf Sarwar Malik said.

A cleric named Qari Muhammad Usman and two others were arrested during the raid late last night and the mosque and madrassa were sealed.

However, Dawood managed to escape. All the boys found in the basement were under 18 years of age. Other police officials said the youths were drug addicts and the seminary’s administration was running a “detoxification unit”.

A signboard at the seminary said drug addicts were treated there. The officials said the boys had been brought to the seminary by their families for treatment of addiction.

However, keeping them in chains was objectionable and illegal, police said. Most of the boys were from Karachi while a few were from Peshawar.

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