Four children, three from Bihar and one from Jharkhand, are being forcefully kept in confinement at the remand home run by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), according to their parents.
Aziz Nayyar (15), Imtiyaz Khan (14), Nazir Khan (14) and Mazhar Hussain (15) left their homes on April 9, boarded a train and reached Bangalore on April 11. On arriving at Yeshwantpur Railway station, two officials from an NGO took the boys away to the remand home at Dairy Circle.
Shahabuddin, a relative of the boys, who works in Davangere, told Express, “I was also on that train. The boys boarded at Jamalpur station in Bihar. They said they were headed to Bangalore without informing their people at home as they wanted to meet a relative who works in Bangalore. After we reached city, two officials here questioned me and asked about my age. They also questioned the four boys and took them away. Before leaving, they gave me the address of the place where the boys will be kept,” he said.
Shahabuddin informed the parents and a relative, Niyamul Khan, who is a tailor at Guddahalli in Bangalore. Both visited the remand home and requested the officials to release the boys. However, the officials said that the boys will be released only if the parents come. On April 20, the parents of the four boys, who work as daily wage agricultural labourers, reached the city and went to the Child Welfare Committee to get the boys released. But the boys are still being kept at the remand home, Shahabuddin said.
“My boy passed 8th Standard and his vacation is on. The other boys are our relatives and they did not inform us before leaving home. We got to know later that they planned to come to visit one of our relatives,” said Iqbal Khan, the father of one of the boys, who hails from Katihar district in Bihar.
“We are poor and we do not have money. Yet, we managed to pool in money and came here to get our boys released. But the officials here are refusing to let our boys come home. Now they asked us to come on Monday,” He said.
He also alleged that when he went and met the boys, they said they had been beaten in the remand home and were scared to tell who hit them.
Child Welfare Committee chairperson Radha Srinivasmurthy, said NGOs and officials are usually at the railway stations to monitor child trafficking. “We do not keep the trafficked children and send them back to respective states under good care. The complaint regarding assault on the boys will be investigated. So far, there have not been any complaints regarding ill-treatment of children,” she said.
N P Rajendraprasad, Superintendent of the remand home, said the children may have been trafficked as there was immense poverty in their homes.
The NGOs brought them here from Yeshwanthpur Railway Station. The Child Welfare Committee is trying to file a case in this regard, he claimed. “We will send the children only after May 17 as the officials concerned from Jharkhand and Bihar will have to come to the city. If they guarantee security of the children, they will be sent back”, he added.
“The allegations regarding assault on the children is false. The parents have been told to go back home as the children will be sent after the officials from the states give related documents,” he said.