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Fraudulent conversion of minor girls: Brazilian missionary in dock

Fraudulent conversion of minor girls: Brazilian missionary in dock

Author: Siddheshwar Shukla
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: December 12, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/222182/Fraudulent-conversion-of-minor-girls-Brazilian-missionary-in-dock.html

Without knowledge of parents, he adopts schoolkids

A Brazilian missionary has been accused of religious conversion of schoolchildren by fraudulently means at Faridabad in Haryana. The affidavit submitted by Dimas De Souza, the founder-trustee of Comademat Charitable Trust, in a Delhi court clearly mentions that the children have been adopted by him, a fact which he had concealed from their parents. Further, De Souza got the minor girls belonging to poor families admitted to convent schools and showed himself as father of all the over a dozen children 'adopted' by him.

The parents of the children told The Pioneer that they were unaware of their children being adopted by the missionary. They, instead, said that the missionary had promised them to return their children after their studies (Class XII) in the best of schools in Faridabad. Records collected by the police reveal that all children were given Christian names; De Souza as their father and their permanent addresses have also been replaced with the address of the hostel run by the missionary.

The parents of two rescued girls, Anila and Soni, denied that they had agreed to give away their children for adoption. "He has not given me any document. However, he asked me to sign on some papers which were in English," said Suresh Paswan, who resides in Mandi village and hails from Madhubani in Bihar. "They changed their hostel from Green Field Colony to Sector 21-D but did not inform us. His mobile phone is also switched off. We have to take the help of media and police to know whereabouts of our girls," added Paswan. The girls were rescued on Tuesday last after police intervention.

Anila, daughter of Suresh Paswan who was studying in Nigam Kanya Vidyalaya, Fatehpur Beri in Delhi, was rechristened as Mary in the Angel's Public School, Sector 21A in Faridabad. According to the school records, her parents withdrew her from Nigam School on July 28, 2008.

The De Souza's affidavit, which was executed on February 11, 2008, says, "I have decided to adopt the following children of the school on permanent basis and all their educational expenses, including school fee, books, eatables, dress etc will be borne by me as long as they are studying in the school." The affidavit also mentions the Christian names of twelve children adopted by De Souza on that date. The girls are: Meenu (12), Lia (12), Rahel (15), Sara (8), Pricila (9), Ester (10), Noemy (15), Ruth (9) and Rebecca (8). The parents of these children reside in Mandi village and hail from backward districts of Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab and Odisha. Presently 15 minor girls are residing in the missionary hostel at 134, Sector 21-D under the jurisdiction of NIT police post of Faridabad.

In another agreement signed by De Souza on October 23 this year with the owner of the bungalow 134, Sector 21-D, Jaisi Ram Asthana, the founder trustee declares: "I am taking this house on rent for providing accommodation for orphans and poor children of Indian origin, about 10 in number." The trust has been registered with an aim to provide health, education and home to destitute, needy and orphans without any discrimination of race, nationality, caste or creed, age and sex.

When told that there are records to show that Anila has been renamed as Mary, Darshanlal Malik, Assistant Police Commissioner of NIT Faridabad, said, "Anila was renamed as Mary." Malik is the investigative officer of the case. "The children residing in the hostel do not want to go with their parents as they are getting better life and education," added Mallik.

Another parent Pitamber, in his police statement, said, "I had send my daughter on my own to the hostel for better life and education. They have promised that they will return my daughter after completing studies and allow me to meet her every six months." Pitamber too is not aware about the adoption of her daughter Shivani, who is now renamed Damris (5).

When The Pioneer visited the hostel, there were two Christian women in their mid-twenties to take care of the children -- Aneilus from Nagaland and Renu from Punjab. "We do not know the admission procedure of the hostel. We are paid employees and reside here to look after the children of the trust," said Aneilus. She refused to talk as soon as she came to know that we are from media. "You talk to the police," she added and shut the door. De Souza is in Brazil owing to some medical complications and so could not be contacted. He is scheduled to return India in February 2010.

The neighbours smell something fishy in the hostel. "Why did they adopt girls only? The parents who have sent their girls here have boys also. They took the girls to the Church for two days a week, generally on Friday and Saturday for over three hours," said Jogendra Singh Saini, resident of 135, Sector 21-D.

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