20 freed from Kathua ‘orphanage’

KATHUA:The Kathua district administration late on Friday rescued 20 children, including eight girls, from an “orphanage” after their teachers at a government school filed a complaint alleging they were being sexually exploited.

20 freed from Kathua ‘orphanage’

One person has been detained.

singhking99@yahoo.com

Sanjay Pathak

Kathua, September 7

The Kathua district administration late on Friday rescued 20 children, including eight girls, from an “orphanage” after their teachers at a government school  filed a complaint alleging they were being sexually exploited.

The police said they had detained one person, Thomas Antony, who ran the “orphanage”, even as they awaited a formal complaint by the district administration to lodge an FIR. 

Official sources said the children told the teachers about their ordeal, following which the school administration sent a written complaint to the district administration.

Antony’s rented residence was raided and the children — all aged less than 12 years and most from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu — rescued.  In their statement, they alleged they had been sexually abused for a long time. 

Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Kathua, Jatinder Mishra said: “During the raid, no official papers were found. The accused claimed the orphanage was a sister concern of a Christian missionary branch. On verification, it was found that this was not true.”

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