Odisha: Evangelists Arrested for Child Trafficking

via With Media Inputs published on November 7, 2015

The focal tribal belt of Keonjhar district of Orissa is yet again in news, this time in connection with child trafficking, by an evangelist couple. As many 24 Dalit children were rescued from the clutches of a couple running an illegal church near a railway siding in Pandapada Juang Basti. Sources have revealed that the minors (between 6 and 12 years) were rescued during a raid conducted by district child welfare committee members recently. Locals have also alleged that the couple stands guilty of engaging children in immoral activities.

The couple Sadhu Balmuchu (38) and his wife Mary (34) have been indulging in Bible teachings to the tribals of Jajpur, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and other focal tribal belts of Odisha. As part of their evangelist activities, they have allegedly been engaged in converting children to the Christian fold.

Reports state that “the couple was caught while showing films and teachings of Jesus Christ with the aid of a projector. They were instigating locals to convert to Christianity.”

“As per orders of the Collector, we raided the hutting and rescued children from a shanty. The CWC has submitted a report. The finding of these reports state that the children were living in an inhumane condition. The rescued children will be shifted to Open Shelter at Baniapat,” a member of the raiding party said.

The children were taken to district headquarters hospital in Keonjhar for health check up before being shifted to the shelter home. Of the two dozen children rescued, some of them are reportedly suffering from pulmonary disease.

The couple, hailing from Banitangar village in Rebana Palaspal panchayat under Daitari police station limits had turned a hutting into a church, calling themselves the father and mother of the makeshift structure.

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