Child trafficking in Kerala to raise foreign donation?

The illegal transportation of children from other states had come into light in June last year, when 600 children from three northern and north-eastern states without any valid documents were rescued from the Palghat railway station.

By T.k. Devasia

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Published: Thu 21 May 2015, 11:56 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:22 PM

Trivandrum: A fresh batch of 30 children from north India arrived in Kerala on Wednesday without any valid documents even as investigation by various agencies into the illegal transportation of around 600 children from Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal to orphanages in the state last year is still on.

The children accompanied by a caretaker were taken into custody by the railway police at the Ernakulam railway station. The caretaker Shihabudeen Nakraf, a Malayali, was taken into custody by the police after he failed to give satisfactory replies to their questions and produce any documents.

The children, aged between five and 12 years hailing from different states, have been shifted to Sneha Bhavan, a children’s home run by the child line. A senior police official said that the caretaker had claimed that the children were brought to one Yatheemkhana in the city.

He said that the children, who were studying in the Yatheemkhana, were returning after the summer vacation. However, he failed to produce any document supporting his claim. The police official said that he also did not have any documents from the authorities of the states from where the children were brought.

The illegal transportation of children from other states had come into light in June last year, when 600 children from three northern and north-eastern states without any valid documents were rescued from the Palghat railway station.

They were later sent back to their respective states. The investigations conducted jointly and separately by the concerned three states termed the illegal transportation of children child trafficking. However, the Kerala government denied any trafficking and said it involved only some procedural lapses.

The case is now under the consideration of the Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court. The high court took up the matter by registering a suo motu case based on media reports whereas the apex court acted on an application filed by advocate Aparna Bhat in August 2014.

Bhat, who is the court’s amicus curiae in a pending case on exploitation of children in orphanages in Tamil Nadu, had described the Kerala incident as part of a larger problem of mushrooming unauthorised orphanages and child care centres in the state.

Bhatt alleged that a well-organied racket was regularly trafficking destitute children from impoverished regions of northern and north-east India to Kerala orphanages to increase and maintain foreign donation flow into their locality.

news@khaleejtimes.com



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