44 kids rescued from horror house in city

In a case evoking memories of shelters in Bihar, a home for the destitute in Chennai was caught on the wrong foot.

Published: 25th August 2018 02:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2018 02:03 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: In a case evoking memories of shelters in Bihar, a home for the destitute in Chennai was caught on the wrong foot. Following four children’s tearful complaint of sexual harassment from a Child Protection Officer, the police cracked down on the home in the city on Thursday and Friday. Rescuing around 44 children, they arrested four persons — Jacob and Vimala Jacob, who were running it, and two staff identified as Muthu and Baskar.

Police sources said the horror story came to light when the four kids walked up to Child Protection Officer Senthil at the end of an awareness programme in a school and broke down, narrating the everyday ordeal.
“On Thursday, an awareness programme on child safety was held at a government school. A few Madras HC judges, Child Welfare Committee officers and human rights activists also attended the event,” said Inspector Shobharani of the Avadi All Women Police Station (AWPS).

Senthil said, “After the programme, two boys and two girls said they wanted to speak to me and started crying. After a while, they opened up. They said they were sexually exploited in the home they were living in.”

The children’s complaint thereafter led the police to swoop on the home. A thorough police enquiry with all children and staff of the home corroborated the four children’s claim. “Four persons of the home accused of the offence were arrested and one Samuel, against whom most of the children have complained, is absconding,” said the police.

Sent to other homes  
The children’s home accommodated  boys and girls in the 5-15 years age group, either orphans or hailing from families that could not support them. There are 44 inmates — 24 girls and 20 boys. All the children were rescued by the police and sent to different homes

‘Home not registered’
According to Senthil, “The home is an unregistered one. Its licence expired in 2015 and two years later, in 2017, a case was filed against it in court. Police crackdown was over two days
until Friday.



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