Child trafficking: LDF walkout in Kerela assembly
Thiruvananthapuram: CPI(M)-led LDF opposition on Monday staged a walkout in the Kerala Assembly after its notice for an adjournment to discuss alleged procedural irregularities involved in bringing a large number of children to orphanages in the state from eastern states like Jharkhand, was rejected.
Opposing the notice, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said a police investigation was already on into the issue and the government would not come in the way of an effective and impartial inquiry.
Admitting that there could be procedural lapses in bringing children into the orphanages, Chandy said it was not right to question the charity mission of the orphanages over the issue by rushing to the conclusion that they were involved in "human trafficking."
"There is no confusion as far as the government is concerned. Our stand is that law should take its course," Chandy said, rejecting the opposition charge that the Home Department and Social Welfare Department had taken divergent stands on the basic question that whether it was a case of "human trafficking."
Referring to the concern reportedly expressed by Union Women and Child Welfare Minister Maneka Gandhi on the issue, Chandy said the state government had not submitted any report to the Centre on the matter.
Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and Soical Welfare Minister M K Muneer also refuted the allegation that the government had taken conflicting positions on the issue.
Muneer said government and its agencies concerned would insist that the orphanages follow the procedures strictly but could not deny the right of children from any part of the country to come and pursue their studies in the state.
Earlier, pressing for an adjournment, Kodidyeri Balakrishnan (CPI-M) said even the Kerala High Court had expressed dissatisfaction at the steps taken by the government in the case.
Deputy Speaker N Sakthan Nadar declined to give leave for the opposition notice in the light of the reply by the chief minister and his colleagues.
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