The Jharkhand Police on Wednesday arrested Satyandra Parkash Musa(58), who ran Packiam Mercy Cross Trust, a child shelter home in the city, facing allegations of religious conversion.
According to the police, the owner was running the home without getting it registered under the Juvenile Justice Act.
"Investigation has revealed that the home was not registered. We have also collected evidence of conversion and the inhuman condition under which the kids were kept,” said Prakash Soy, Chaibasa sadar sub-divisional police officer (SDPO).
" Out of 38 children in the home, only eight could be rescued so far and shifted to a government registered home here in Ludhiana while the rest 30 are yet to be traced," he added.
Satyendra Prakash Musa (58) was arrested on charges of illegal human trafficking and illegal religious conversion. The FIR against Musa has been registered at Chaibasa Sadar police station under Section 4 of Jharkhand Religious Freedom Act 2017, Section 42 of the Juvenile Justice Act, Section 5 of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act and Section 370 (Trafficking of Persons) of IPC.
On August 20, the district administration of Ludhiana had raided the children’s home and sealed it. Reports say some 30 children went missing from the shelter home earlier this month.
“We have arrested Musa after thorough probe. Thirty children are missing and Musa is claiming that he has handed them over to their parents, but he has failed to give us details of the same, " The Indian Express quoted Sub Inspector Banarasi Ram as saying.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked all states to complete the audit of the shelter homes in their respective states and instructed District Magistrates (DMs)to finalise the report by September 15. Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur of the the Supreme Court (SC) said in his observation that it seems no one is interested in monitoring conditions in shelter homes.
The Supreme Court instruction to the states came in the wake of cases of rape and disappearance from shelter homes from various states, especially the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case. The scandal came to light two months ago when an FIR was lodged by the social welfare department following a social audit report submitted by Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences which mentioned sexual abuse of girls lodged at the Muzaffarpur shelter home.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine