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Watch video: Bijnor Jama Masjid imam caught raping 30-year old woman, booked by police
A few days after a video surfaced on YouTube showing the head imam of Jama Masjid of the town of Bijnor allegedly trying to rape a woman, he was booked by the police on Thursday for the crime.

The incident allegedly happened on August 19, when the woman's husband and neighbours caught the imam during the act and thrashed him. Photographs and videos were also clicked of the whole incident.

The imam, 40-year old Maulana Anwarul Haq had allegedly been raping the 30-year old woman on the pretext of "rescuing her from evil spirits". Haq is also the national vice-president of Indian Muslim Board.

According to Bijnor SP Umesh Kumar Srivastava, the victim's husband had approached Haq to cure the woman, who had been ill for almost a month. Haq reportedly told the victim's husband that his wife was under the influence of evil spirits and certain rituals needed to be performed at the Kaliyar Sharif dargah in Haridwar to cure her.

Srivastava said, "On August 12, Haq took the couple to Haridwar where they stayed in a hotel. The man has alleged that the cleric called his wife to his room on the pretext of performing rituals and raped her. He also threatened her with dire consequences if she informed her husband."

According to Mahila police Station Officer Manju Singh, after returning from Haridwar, Haq went to the woman's house on August 19 while she was alone.

She said, "Haq took his associate Khurram with him and asked him to wait outside the house. While the cleric was inside, the woman's husband arrived. Khurram tried to stop him, but he broke open the door and allegedly found Haq in a compromising position with his wife."

After the husband raised an alarm, the neighbours gathered and started beating up Haq and Khurram. "A few also clicked some photographs of the cleric, " said the SO.

While the family did not inform the police immediately, Haq kept mounting pressure on them for returning the photographs and the video clippings.

She said, "When they refused, Haq got an FIR lodged against the victim's husband and four others on August 23 at Nazibabad police station, alleging that they had misbehaved with his wife and snatched her jewellery."

Following this, the police picked up one of the persons named in the FIR and interrogated him. Singh said, "While questioning the accused, we came to know about Haq's motive behind filing the FIR. The couple were called to the police station. A police team was also sent to Haridwar. It found that the hotel rooms were booked on Haq's ID. We also have collected the CCTV footage from the hotel with clippings of Haq and the couple."

The SP said, "We have five video clippings of the August 19 incident, which corroborates the complainant's allegations... We will now expunge the case Haq had filed at Nazibabad police station." The woman, who is a mother of two has undergone medical examination.

Haq has always been a controversial figure. In December last year, he had made news by announcing a cash reward of Rs 51 lakh on the head of Hindu activist Kamlesh Tiwari. Tiwari had allegedly made objectionable comments against Prophet Muhammad. In the month of April, after the killing of NIA officer Tanzeel Ahmed in Bijnore, Haq had claimed that Tanzeel had been a victim of a terror attack.

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