Kids rescued from illegal Kathua orphanage were kept in cellar, suffering from scabies: Police

According to the deputy commissioner, the children were kept in a cellar at the rented accommodation where the illegal orphanage was being run.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2018 23:31 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Kathua,Kathua orphanage,illegal orphanage
Jammu and Kashmir police and Kathua civil administration raided an illegal orphanage being run by a missionary in Kathua town and rescued 20 children including eight girls on September 7.(AFP File Photo/Representative image)

A second Kathua horror appears to be unfolding after 19 children including eight girls were rescued from an illegal orphanage on Friday and the pastor, Thomas Anthony, 62, placed in police custody for seven days by a local court.

Kathua deputy commissioner Rohit Khajuria told Hindustan Times that “serious charges of sexual abuse, torture and physical assault have been levelled by the rescued children against the accused” and added that these would be investigated by the police.

The orphanage has been sealed by the police and Anthony booked under sections on rape and sexual violence against children. The investigation into the case will be conducted by deputy superintendent of police (headquarters) Nikhil Rasgotra.

In January 2018, an eight-year-old girl was gang-raped and murdered in Kathua in a case that polarised the state, and resulted in the central government passing an ordinance recommending the death penalty for rapists of children below the age of 12.

The Pentecostal Mission in Pathankot has denied it issued permission to any such orphanage in Kathua.

The rescued children belong to Gurdaspur in Punjab, Sanji Morh, Samba, Bari Brahmana and Jammu.

“The medical examination of the rescued children, 19 to be precise, which included eight girls, was conducted at the Kathua district hospital late Friday night. Their medical reports are awaited,” Khajuria said about the investigation.

“The children are under medical treatment. All the children were found to be suffering from scabies and we have given them new clothes,” he added.

According to the deputy commissioner, the children were kept in a cellar at the rented accommodation where the illegal orphanage was being run.

Assistant commissioner (revenue) Jitendra Mishra, who led the raid on Friday evening, said that the children will be united with their families after due process.

The orphanage was being run in Parliwand ward number 7 of Kathua town for the past four years, said locals familiar with the matter.

First Published: Sep 08, 2018 23:31 IST