The police have summoned the owner of a shelter home for children in Gautam Budh Nagar, two days after some inmates rescued alleged forcible conversion.
The police have called the shelter home owner, Joshua Devraj, for questioning and have received some documents from the management of the shelter home which are being checked for their authenticity.
“We are likely to get a report by tomorrow to establish whether the shelter home was being run legally or not. Employees of the shelter home are also being questioned. The contact numbers given on the pamphlets of the Emmanuel Seva Group, which runs the shelter homes, are found to be defunct,” said Rakesh Yadav, deputy superintendent of police (circle 3), Greater Noida.
On December 29, the city police and an NGO had raided the shelter homes of Emmanuel Seva Group at Greater Noida’s Naya Haibatpur village, following a complaint by a mother of three children who were lodged at the shelter home. According to police, she had alleged that the employees of the shelter home were not allowing her to meet her children. On Tuesday, during their counselling, the rescued children had allegedly said that they were being beaten up for not reciting hymns from the Bible and being kept in a ‘poor’ condition, police said.
“We are in the process of compiling the report which includes the statements of all the 30 children rescued from the shelter homes of the group from Greater Noida and Meerut. We have already submitted a primary report to the police about the allegations levelled by the rescued children that they were beaten up and forced to eat cockroach-infested food for not reciting hymns from the Bible,” said Satyaprakash, programme manager, FXB Suraksha NGO, which conducted a raid at shelter homes in Greater Noida and Meerut.
On Thursday, when HT contacted the owner of the Emmanuel Seva Group, he had confirmed the raid. ”Yes, there was raid at the shelter home but right now I cannot tell you much about it. Will tell you later.” However, he did not respond to repeated calls and messages on Friday.
Ashwani Kumar, in-charge of Bisrakh police station said, “A case was registered at the Bisrakh police station following the raid. The children had alleged torture by the caretakers and we are investigating their claims.”
During an interview with HT, three of the rescued children had alleged that they were being forced to sleep on the floor where rodent poop was scattered. A nine-year-old boy, who was rescued after three years, claimed that he was suspended from the ceiling fan and beaten up. They said they were not allowed to step out of the shelter home and were allowed to meet their parents only once in a month for 15 minutes.