The self-declared Muslim prophet, 83, and the cult which ‘locked 27 children in underground cells for TEN YEARS – and some of them have never seen the sun’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2185393/Reclusive-Muslim-sect-accused-keeping-children-underground-years.html

  • Children aged one to 17 allegedly kept in cells. Some of them may have never seen the sun
  • Inclusive city of Kazan in the eastern region of Tartarstan shocked by allegations

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 07:11 EST, 8 August 2012 | UPDATED: 23:55 EST, 9 August 2012

A cruel religious sect kept 27 children locked away in dark and unheated underground cells – some for a decade.

The youngsters, aged from one to 17, have never seen daylight and have now been rescued from their living hell in Russia.

They were kept in an eight-level warren of cramped rooms underneath a three-storey house, without ventilation or electricity in a suburb of the city of Kazan, in the eastern region of Tartarstan.

Scroll down to watch video

Underground leader: The local leader of the underground sect is led out of the cave in Kazan by Russian police in video footage released by the Government of Tatarstan Underground leader: The local leader of the underground sect is led out of the cave in Kazan by Russian police in video footage released by the Government of Tatarstan

 

The underground bunker: The religious group lived for more than a decade in a bunker below a this mosque in KazanThe underground bunker: The religious group lived for more than a decade in a bunker below a this mosque in Kazan

 

Child cruelty: Children aged between one and 17 were found in the bunker - some of whom have never seen sunlightChild cruelty: Children aged between one and 17 were found in the bunker – some of whom have never seen sunlight

The children’s parents have been charged with child abuse and the elderly leader of the Muslim sect, 83-year-old Faizrakhman Satarov, faces charges of negligence.

Members of the sect call themselves ‘muammin’ after the Arabic term that means ‘believers’.

Self-declared prophet Satarov, a former top imam in a neighbouring province, had declared the derelict house an independent Islamic state.

He ordered 70 followers to live in the underground cells and only a few sect members were allowed to leave the premises to work as traders at a local market.

The children are now in hospital and will go on to be placed temporarily in an orphanage.

Tartarstan police have said that the house will be demolished – but Satarov’s deputy Gumer Ganiyev declared on local television that it would be destroyed ‘over our dead bodies’. None of those charged have been arrested.

Isolated: Children were kept in an underground eight-level warren of cramped rooms beneath the mosqueIsolated: Children were kept in an underground eight-level warren of cramped rooms beneath the mosque

Captive: Members of the religious group explore their surroundings after exiting the underground caveCaptive: Members of the religious group explore their surroundings after exiting the underground cave

 

Seeing the light: The video shows children being led up the stairs of the underground tunnel - possibly for the first time in their lives Seeing the light: The video shows children being led up the stairs of the underground tunnel – possibly for the first time in their lives

‘They will come with bulldozers and guns, but they can demolish this house over our dead bodies!’ he said.

Satarov has followers in several other cities in largely-Muslim Tatarstan and other Volga River provinces.

He has said that he founded the sect after falling out with other clerics and authorities in the Communist era, when the KGB sent him to Muslim nations to spread stories about religious freedom in the officially atheist Soviet Union.

Government-approved Orthodox Christian, Muslim and Jewish clerics routinely travelled abroad on Soviet publicity trips.

The group's leader founded the sect after falling out with other clerics and declared himself a 'prophet'The group’s leader founded the sect after falling out with other clerics and declared himself a ‘prophet’

 

Two women emerge from the bunker with one appearing to carry a young child Two women emerge from the bunker with one appearing to carry a young child

 

Angry: Members of the sect shout at media assembled by the bunker Angry: Members of the sect shout at media assembled by the bunker

‘That’s how I became Satan’s servant, a traitor,’ he was quoted as saying. “When I understood that, I repented and started preaching.’

Muslim leaders in Tatarstan said Satarov’s views were contrary to their own.

Kazan-based theologian Rais Suleimanov said: ‘The teachings of Satarov, who declared himself a prophet, have been rejected by traditional Muslims.’

He added that the sect, which had stopped accepting new members, were ‘only dangerous to themselves and their children’.

The underground cells were discovered by police on Friday as part of an ongoing investigation into the killing of a local Muslim leader who had been critical of radical Islamist groups.

Poor living conditions: Rubbish stacked up inside the mosque Poor living conditions: Rubbish stacked up inside the mosque

 

Building site: Boxes and crates are stacked up around the entrance of the bunkerBuilding site: Boxes and crates are stacked up around the entrance of the bunker

Kazan: The city, with a population of 1.5million, has been shocked by claims that a sect has been keeping children underground for up to ten years Kazan: The city, with a population of 1.5million, has been shocked by claims that a sect has been keeping children underground for up to ten years

 

The Kul Sharif Mosque in Kazan
Catholic church in Kazan

Religious harmony: The Kul Sharif Mosque in Kazan, left, and a catholic church nearby is an example of how Muslims and Christians co-exist in the city

 

Locator: Kazan is at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka rivers in the province of Tartastan, southeast of MoscowLocator: Kazan is at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka rivers in the province of Tartastan, southeast of Moscow

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Posted on August 10, 2012, in Religion / Faith and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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