Minor Boys Rescued from Muzaffarnagar Ashram
By: Sashwata Saha
Ten boys of ages ranging between seven and sixteen years had been rescued from an ashram in the Shrukataal area in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, early on July 9. According to the police report, four of them had marks of sexual assault on them. The police added that the manager of the ashram, a self-styled priest has been arrested along with one other individual.
The children said that they hail from the states of Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya. They are currently being treated at the district hospital at Laddhwala, located nearby.
Sanjeev Kumar, Station House Officer, Bhopa, said in a press conference, the police acted after they were tipped off by a call from the state child helpline (Childline). “Ten children from the northeastern States were rescued from the Godia Math in Bhopa area on July 7 during a raid on the ashram. They were presented before the Child Welfare Committee, Muzaffarnagar, who directed a medical examination of them”.
According to child helpline members who went on the raid with the police, the children were brought to the ashram under the pretence of education. Once they were here, the ashram authorities made them cook food and look after the animals in the compound. Kamlesh Verma, the president of the Muzaffarnagar Child Welfare Committee said to the media, “They (the kids) have made allegations of sexual harassment against that the manager. We have conducted counselling and sent them for medical examination. Further action will be taken based on medical reports.”
One of the counsellors said that the boys claimed that the manager forced them to drink liquor, sexually harassed them and beat them up.
DSP Rajesh Kumar Trivedi said that a complaint has not been filed regarding the matter. “We will take action on the basis of the complaint,” he said.
The ashram has remained silent on the matter.
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