The Juvenile Justice Board on Wednesday said a 17-year-old accused of allegedly raping a minor inside a madrassa in Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district would be tried as an adult, ANI reported. The accused was made to undergo an ossification test to determine his age since he could not produce documents to prove that he was a minor, DNA reported.

The police had arrested the accused for allegedly abducting and raping a 10-year-old, and a Muslim cleric for his role in the alleged crime. “We have submitted the report to the Juvenile Justice Board and they have asked the doctor who had made the report to appear in person on Wednesday,” said Ram Gopal Naik, deputy commissioner of police (crime). “Further course of action would be taken based on that.”

The case

The girl’s father said she went missing on April 21. He filed a police complaint after she did not get back from the market. The police said they managed to access closed-circuit television footage purportedly showing the 17-year-old taking her in an auto rickshaw. The accused allegedly knew the girl. The police claimed that they also found details of the accused from call record details of a phone at the girl’s home. This reportedly helped them track them down.

Communal tension

On April 27, a group broke into the cleric’s home and vandalised it while shouting communal slogans, The Indian Express reported. The cleric’s wife had relocated to her parents home with her two children a few days ago.

“My husband is innocent, but some people and media channels are saying he has committed a crime,” she told the newspaper.

Police had said they have booked several people, including a local councillor, for the vandalism. Sahibabad BJP MLA Sunil Kumar Sharma wrote to Chief Minister Adityanath claiming that the madrassa “had become a centre for illegal activities” and demanded that it be sealed.