Six kids missing from Rohtak shelter home traced

The missing children had been given away to these people for illegal adoption by the shelter home in-charge.

Rohtak: Haryana Police here have located the six children who went "missing" from a controversial shelter home in this town, 70 km from New Delhi, police officials said here on Wednesday.

The six children were "missing" from the list of inmates of the Apna Ghar shelter home being run by the Bharat Vikas Sangh, a non-government organisation (NGO).

A raid on the shelter home last week (May 9) by a team of the National Commission for Protection of Child Right (NCPCR) and district authorities led to over 100 inmates, including women, girls and children, being rescued.

The shelter home in-charge, Jaswanti Devi, who had got a national award for woman empowerment earlier this year, was arrested by the police following the raid. There were complaints that she had physically assaulted inmates of the home, including girls.

A police official said the people with whom the missing children were living have been summoned here. The missing children had been given away to these people for illegal adoption by the shelter home in-charge.

"We have succeeded in locating all six missing children after carrying out simultaneous raids at various places during the last five days," Ved Singh Nain, spokesman of the Rohtak Police, told a news agency.

"The missing children are being brought up in Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), Jagdish Colony (Rohtak), Digana (Jind), Rohini (Delhi), Gandhi Camp (Rohtak) and Khanpur (Delhi)," he said.

Nain said the guardians of these children had been called by police for questioning, and police will also verify how the children landed up with these people.

"We had found six children missing from the shelter-house during investigation and Jaswanti Devi, caretaker-cum-manager of the house, later admitted that she had handed over these children to various people residing in different places," said the spokesman.

The state government Tuesday ordered that the bank accounts of the NGO and its in-charge be frozen and a probe be launched into the financial dealings of the organisation.

Jaswanti Devi was running six centres for the last several years under the aegis of the NGO. Several important people of the area regularly visited her shelter homes.

The spokesman said that till now, seven people -- Jaswanti, her daughter Sushma alias Simmi, son-in-law Jai Bhagwan, brother Jaswant, cousins Satish and Sushila and councillor Veena -- have been arrested in connection with the shelter-house scandal.
Jaswanti and Jai Bhagwan have been booked by the police under sections 354 (molestation), 376 (rape), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Immoral Trafficking Act, and the Child Protection Act on the recommendation of the NCPCR team.

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