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24 Jharkhand children rescued from Punjab; kingpin, aide held for conversion, trafficking

Police have traced 20 of the 30 children missing from their homes and rescued four others and are continuing their search for the remaining 10 kids.

Updated: Sep 02, 2018 18:34:18

By Debashish Sarkar

Packiam Mercy Cross child home in Ludhiana (HT PHOTO)

Jharkhand Police have rescued 24 children who were illegally trafficked from the state and converted to Christianity in Punjab, and arrested two persons in this connection.

Satyendra Prasad Moses, the alleged kingpin of Packiam Mercy Cross child home in Ludhiana, and his erstwhile student, Junul Longa, have been sent to jail on charges of trafficking and converting 34 Jharkhand children, police said on Saturday.

Moses and Longa were produced in Chaibasa court and sent to jail on charges of converting 34 kids from Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum, Ranchi and Khunti districts, police said.

Police brought Moses from Ludhiana along with four kids, who originally hail from Khunti and Bundu (Ranchi) and were kept in the home along with 30 other children aged 5–13 years under inhuman conditions.

West Singhbhum police have successfully traced 20 of the 30 children missing from their homes in Jharkhand and are continuing their search for the remaining 10 kids.

Moses and Longa have been charged under section 4 of the Jharkhand Religious Freedom Act, and with immoral trafficking under section 5 of Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, section 370 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 42 of the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act.

Moses and Longa were sent to 14 days’ judicial custody, said Kranti Kumar Gadidheshi, West Singhbhum superintendent of police (SP), adding that they would be taken on remand for further investigation.

“We have evidence of conversion and other forms of exploitation of the kids in the Ludhiana-based home run by Moses and Longa,” he said.

“We have physically verified 20 of the missing 30 kids. They are in their houses with their parents. We expect names and records of the remaining 10 kids from Ludhiana in a day or two. Subsequently, we will verify those while we have rescued back four kids,” the SP said.

According to police, special police team led by Chaibasa anti-human trafficking unit (AHTU) police station (PS) in-charge Banarasi Ram found during investigation in Ludhiana that 56-year-old Moses, originally from Gaya (Bihar), drove 30 children out of the home as soon as Ludhiana child welfare committee (CWC) contacted him.

Moses told police that Longa had brought the 34 kids to the home from West Singhbhum, Khunti and Ranchi districts. Alerted by the CWC visit, Moses called Longa and sent 20 kids with him, Ram said.

Moses said he ran the home in the name of his second wife’s mother, Mercy, and admitted to teaching Bible, prayer and name-change of the children while keeping their parents in the dark, the officer said.

The matter came to light after ADG, special branch, Jharkhand Police, Anurag Gupta wrote a letter to ADG (CID) Ajay Kumar Singh, on August 17, providing a list of children living in the missionary-run shelter home.

First Published: Sep 02, 2018 18:34:18


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