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A Madrasa teacher from Kerala's Kottayam was arrested on Saturday, June 2, after he was charged for sexually abusing several children for many years.

The 63-year-old madrasa teacher, identified as Yusuf, was employed in a mosque in Thalayolaparambu where he was working for the past two years.

The incident came to light two weeks ago when a young boy was sexually abused by Yusuf in his private room in the Madrasa. A disturbed boy went home and after coercion from his parents, narrated the incident. He had taken the little boy to his room in the pretext of teaching him the Holy Quran.

Soofi TM, the Sub Inspector of Thalayolaparambu station, an investigating officer told The News Minute that Yusuf would prey on children on the days when the chief imam of the madrasa would not come, which would be two to three days a week. On those days, Yusuf would take children to a private room where he would sexually assault them.

"Since children that young are naive and are unlikely to understand what sexual abuse is, he relied on this," Soofi said while mentioning that Yusuf's victims were always 10 years or younger since in most cases, the crimes would not be reported.

Soofi added, "He would lure children, especially girls, by promising them sweets and nicknacks and taking them to the room. Here he would abuse them."

When the news broke of his exploits, Yusuf escaped and was missing till his he was found in Kodungallur on May 27.

Yusuf first gained a good reputation by holding long prayer meetings and speeches. He then got a private room after a lot of coercion from his part. He then began taking children, especially girls, to his room and assaulted them.

After his arrest and during questioning, Yusuf revealed that he was sexually abused in his childhood and his first victim was the daughter of his abuser.

"He told us that he continued to abuse young children after this and did not stop as he was never caught. We believe he may have abused at least 19 children and we are yet to probe the case deeper," a policeman was quoted as saying.