A madrasa teacher has been arrested for allegedly raping eight students aged between 8 and 11 inside the institution in north Bangladesh, police said Sunday. Abul Khayer Belali, 33, who joined Maa Hawa(a) Qawmi girls' madrasa in Netrokona district a year ago, confessed to the crime after being arrested on charges of trying to rape another girl student, bdnews24.com reported.
Belali, also a cleric at a nearby mosque, was caught by locals who beat him up before handing him over to the police after the eight-year-old class II student cried for help as he attempted to rape her on Friday, the report said. The girl, whose mother works as domestic help, was one of the 15 residential students of the madrasa, it said.
During the interrogation, Belali told police that he has raped eight of the 35 students of the institution. "Initially, charges of attempted rape were brought against Belali. Later, we talked to the student and learnt that she was raped," Netrokona Additional Superintendent of Police Sghahjahan Mia said.
The man has admitted to raping eight students aged between 8 and 11 in one year, he said. "He used to call the students into his room and would ask them to massage his hands and feet before raping them," the officer added.
The incident triggered protests in the area with hundreds of people demanding severe punishment for the teacher.
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