Thodupuzha case: Orphanage authorities booked under Juvenile Justice Act.

published on June 15, 2014
KOCHI: Thrissur child welfare committee (CWC) authorities said that the 28 children from Bihar, who were detained in city, were brought here nine months ago for religious studies. The children – boys in the 7-18 age-group – are illiterate and hail from poor families in Bhagalpur and Fatehpur districts in Bihar. Meanwhile, Thrissur East Police registered a case under the section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act against Saddam Ansari, who led the group, and the orphanage authorities.

While the orphanage – Darul Fatheh Islamic Complex, Kunnam near Thodupuzha – has many other orphans who are given regular education, these 28 children were given only religious classes, a violation of Right to Education Act.

“During interrogation, we found that these children were not sent to any school for primary education. As per JJ Act, every child below 14 shall be given free and compulsory education. It was also understood that the particular orphanage has not procured any permission from the state orphanage control board too. We understand that a case can be registered against the orphanage under the section 23 of JJ Act,” said advocate Seena Rajagopal, a member of Thrissur CWC.

CWC has now asked the district social welfare department to submit a report after interacting with these children and investigating the matter after which they would decide whether the children would be sent back home or not.

It was on Tuesday that Thrissur East Police, with the help of CWC, detained a batch of 28 boys hailing from Bihar in Thrissur town near a mosque in Chettiyangadi. The children were heading for their hometown and were planning to board a Bihar-bound train from Thrissur railway station at 6.30 pm on that day.

During interrogation, police found that the children, led by Saddam, left the Thodupuzha orphanage on Monday night itself. “We are investigating whether there is any element of child trafficking apart from violation of other regulations,” said a senior officer.

The kids were taken to the children’s home at Ramavarmapuram. At the same time, CWC sources said they would soon contact their counterparts in Bhagalpur and Fatehpur districts to collect the whereabouts of the children. The orphanage authorities met senior police officers on Wednesday.


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