Pointing to serious gaps in the anti-human trafficking setup in the State, 19 children, hailing from Odisha and Jharkhand, were found illegally confined in an unauthorised children’s home in the district.
This has come to light barely four-days after a batch of 18 Odisha children were rescued from a church premise in Kanyakumari district.
The Social Welfare Department unearthed the racket while probing the recent incident in Kanyakumari district. “We found that the children were brought to Kanyakumari by the accused priest Claret from the Blessing Welfare Society located at Sirumugai in Coimbatore district,” said a highly-placed source.
The Coimbatore district police had alerted the Social Welfare Department about large number of Odisha children illegally held at the Blessing Welfare Society home nearly nine months. But apparently, the officials had not considered the tip-off with due seriousness even in the wake of 23 Nepal girls rescued from the Micheal Job Orphange.
Rajkumar, who was running the home, is now under judicial custody after the Kanyakumari police arrested him three days ago. “The children were taken from the parents by promising that they will be given quality education and other facilities. But the children were not even sent to school and were kept confined in a room under inhumane conditions,” said Pradip K Patra, state coordinator of Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), Odisha, who is in the State to retrieve the children.
Nellai Group Homeward
The Tirunelveli Child Welfare Committee was on Wednesday ordered to take back the 18 children rescued from a church, to their native, Odisha. B Nalan of the CWC said the children left for Odisha on a train via Chennai on Wednesday.