Maoists in Jharkhand are forcibly taking away children from villages to work as child soldiers, state intelligence agencies have warned the police.
Hit by exodus of leaders and cadre and the rise of splinter groups, Maoists have raided remote villages in their strongholds in Latehar and Lohardagga districts of western Jharkhand for young foot soldiers.
The police are aware of the forced recruitment, but the families which have seen their children snatched away are reluctant to lodge complaints.
"We sent teams to the affected villages. Fearing reprisals, the villagers declined to lodge complaints against the rebels," Latehar superintendent of police Kranti Kumar Gadideshi said on Tuesday.
Among the children recently taken away are a few are aged 13-14 years. The Maoists are likely to induct them into their feared militia - the people's liberation guerrilla army.
The police have information that the Nakul Yadav wing of CPI(Maoist) recently took away at least four children from their village in Latehar.
In Mahuatand, one of the Maoists strongest bastions in Latehar district, the rebels have ordered every family to offer one teenager for their cause. According to the police, the villagers have defied the diktat so far. Other villages had initially resisted the Maoists, but were silenced.
"Rising frustration is forcing them to play with the lives of innocent children," Gadideshi said.
Madrasa teachers arrested for burning student's feet
Jammu: The police have arrested two teachers of a madrasa who allegedly burnt the feet of an 11-year-old student by pressing a hot iron on his feet after he tried to run away from the seminary in Rajouri district.
The boy was trying to flee the Nusrat-uloom madrasa because he was afraid of being scolded for not doing his homework, the police said.
"The teachers, Anwar-ul-Haq and Ahmed Jameel, have been arrested and charged with causing injuries and illegally confining the child," Rajouri superintendent of police Mubassir Latifee said on Tuesday.
The boy has been admitted to a hospital. The violent brand of discipline came to the notice of the police on Monday, a day after the boy's uncle visited the seminary and found him weeping.