Three children fled the Kalpataru Sevashram, Anandnagar in district headquarters after they were allegedly tortured by the owner on Tuesday. They were later detained at Kankadahada police station, 65 kms from the sevashram, on Wednesday for over eight hours and released after the intervention of the district Child Welfare Committee (CWC).
According to sources, the three children identified as Mamula Munda, Raju Bengra and Basu Kala of Kamakshyanagar sub-division escaped from the sevashram on Tuesday and crossing dense forest reached Kankadahada. They then went to a nearby dhaba and spent the night there. Later, the dhaba owner informed Kanakadahada police following which the police took the children to the police station on Wednesday morning.
On being informed, the relatives of the children and the sevashram’s chief functionary Baba Muktikant reached the police station. The children alleged that they were beaten in the sevashram and therefore fled.
The relatives resented that the police had detained the children for over eight hours without informing the CWC, a quasi-judicial statutory body on care and protection of children at the district level.
After intervention of CWC, the children were freed by police. Two of the them went back to the sevashram with Muktikant while Mamula Munda went home. Officer in-charge of the police station said they had found injury marks on children and inquiry was in progress.
Meanwhile, the CWC visited the sevashram and discussed the issue with two children who had returned to the ashram in presence of Muktikant and other children. The district administration has also started an inquiry into the incident.
However, some children informed that they were often beaten for disobeying the orders of Baba Muktikant while Muktikant said he rarely caned children.