NGO boss and shelter home caretaker arrested for ‘torturing and trafficking’ children

After rescuing 30 kids from an illegal shelter home that was operated by a Delhi-based NGO, Noida police on Sunday arrested the NGO’s head and caretaker of a shelter on charges of “torturing” and “trafficking” kids on the pretext of providing free education.

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Mail Today had earlier this week reported about the raids in which cops and NGO workers rescued 30 kids from two children homes in Greater Noida and Meerut.

Police arrested Josua Devraj, who heads Emmanuel Seva Group India, and Bhola, caretaker of the Greater Noida shelter, following the raid.

“We have arrested two people, including the NGO’s head in connection with this case. The NGO was running an illegal shelter home in Greater Noida. Kids here were forced to live in inhuman condition. They were beaten up and tortured,” Vishwajeet Srivastava, SP (Crime) told Mail Today.

Police claim that these children were taken from their parents three years ago and were trafficked to various shelters operated by the NGO across the country.

“Initially, they enrolled these kids in school but their admissions were later withdrawn and they used to stay in the shelter home. Kids were never allowed to meet their parents,” the officer said.

Noida police have been claiming that there is no substantial evidence to back the case of forced conversion. However, police suspect international funding behind the illegal shelter home’s operations.

“They were preached the Bible but there is no substantial proof that the kids were forced to convert. When visitors came to these centres, kids were offered good cloths which were later taken away. This suggests that the NGO was only working for international funding,” a senior officer investigating the case said.

Police are also contacting other shelters managed by the NGO in other states.

The breakthrough came after another child welfare NGO received a complaint by a mother who had three children enrolled with Emmanuel Seva Group India but had not seen them for the last three years.

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“A woman contacted us and said that she had given her two daughters and a son to an NGO called Emmanuel Seva Group India three years ago. She said they had promised free education to the children. But she was unable to contact them and was never given any details whenever she enquired about her kids. When she pressurised them she was asked to pay Rs 1.5 lakh per child to get her kids back,” said Satya Prakash, Programme Manager at FXB Suraksha-Childline.

Prakash conducted the joint raid with the Noida police to rescue the children.

According to officials, the physical condition of the two-room shelter home was very unhygienic.

“Kids were made to sleep on the floor. The bathroom and toilet was open with a big pit nearby. The kitchen slabs were covered with rodent waste and all food materials were kept uncovered,” Prakash said.

A parallel raid was conducted at the Meerut shelter home, where 23 kids, all within 5-14 years of age, were rescued.

News Source – Daily Mail

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