3 madrasah students attacked in Paya Lebar; 48-year-old man arrested

PHOTO: ST

This article was updated at 10:10pm on Apr 2, 2016.

The police have made an arrest in the case where three female students from a madrasah, or Islamic religious school, were physically attacked on Friday (April 1).

According to police, the students, aged 14 to 16, were on their separate ways to Madrasah Al Maarif Al Islamiah near Paya Lebar MRT station when the man attacked them.

The man arrested is a 48-year-old Singaporean Chinese man.

In a statement, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations & Intelligence), who is also Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, Tan Chye Hee said: “The Police take a stern view of acts that could threaten the racial and religious harmony in Singapore. Any person who caused hurt to others on the basis of their race or religion will be dealt with severely in accordance with the law.”

Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam first wrote about the case in a Facebook post at about 11.30pm on Friday. He said that while the motives for the attack are unclear, he has asked the police to "get to the bottom of it and ensure that justice is done".

I have been told of three Madrasah students being physically attacked today in a public place. At this point, the...

Posted by K Shanmugam Sc on Friday, April 1, 2016

TODAY reported that a Facebook post by a netizen named Nisha Mohd Hussein, purportedly a teacher from Madrasah Al-Ma'arif Al-Islamiah in Geylang, said that "at about 7.20am at Paya Lebar MRT, our students…(were) physically abused by a stranger."

The netizen also described the victims' description of the attacker, adding that one student was kicked on the left thigh, another hit by a heavy item contained in a plastic bag, and the third victim was "hit in the same manner on one of her eyes". The post has since been taken down.

A police report was also lodged, said the post, and the netizen appealed for eyewitnesses to contact the school.

A post on the madrasah's Facebook page said that the affected students have been counselled and parents have been contacted.

Police investigations are still ongoing.

Salam to all.As much as we know about the mishap which occured today, we would like to thank all who have called our...

Posted by Madrasah Al-Ma'arif Al-Islamiah on Friday, April 1, 2016

The incident comes two days after Mr Shanmugam underlined the need to thwart Islamophobia, or prejudice against Muslims, from developing.

He had been speaking at a closed-door meeting with 60 students from six full-time madrasahs in Singapore.

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