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MyNation Impact: Cops arrest linchpins of child conversion racket operating between Jharkhand and Punjab

Publication: Mynation.com
Date:  September 2, 2018
URL:      https://www.mynation.com/amp/news/jharkhand-punjab-religious-conversion-christianity-lynchpin-arrested-investigation-pefdj9?__twitter_impression=true


- MyNation had revealed that hundreds of minor kids had been trafficked from tribal districts of Jharkhand and taken to Punjab for being converted to Christianity. The racket had flourishing unchecked since 2006

After MyNation exposed that 34 minor tribal kids had been trafficked from Jharkhand to Punjab for religious conversion by a Christian missionary organisation, the Jharkhand police arrested the linchpin and his associate on Saturday.

Those arrested are Satyendra Moses, who runs Parikam Mary Cross Child Home in Ludhiana where the missing kids had been lodged, and Junul Longa, a converted tribal from Chaibasa, who had run operations to capture and transport the children to Ludhiana.

Superintendent of police (SP) of Chaibasa Kranti Kumar told MyNation that the duo was arrested from Ludhiana by a party of the Jharkhand police and brought back to the state to face prosecution. “We arrested them and brought them back to Chaibasa on Saturday morning. We immediately produced them in court. They are in remand,” Kumar said.

Kumar also told MyNation that all the 34 kids are below 10 years of age, while around 12 are just three to four years old.

“Moses and Longa had immediately sent 30 of the 34 kids back to their parents when they got a whiff of police action,” Kumar said, adding, “We have physically verified the whereabouts of 20 kids. We have questioned 15 of them. Five remain to be interviewed”.

The kids told the police that while they were sent to school, the major part of their day was spent in reading the Bible and praying.

“The kids were forced to read the Bible and pray throughout the day. The kids were lodged in three halls. Food was cooked by older kids. They were sent to one Agape Public High School and were admitted into the classes in a height-wise fashion,” Kumar said.

According to the police investigation, the accused have accepted that the institution had lost its registration back in 2006 and it had not been renewed. Satyendra Moses accepted that the kids were being indoctrinated into Christianity. He was running the child home in the name of the mother of his second wife, Mercy.

The four kids left in the hostel too were rescued by the police party and they belong to Khunti and Bundu.

A case has been registered against the two at the Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) police station under section 370 of IPC pertaining to human trafficking, 5-Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act, 42-Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, Jharkhand Religious Freedom Act.

According to the police, the 34 minor tribal kids had gone missing from Jharkhand’s Chaibasa, Ranchi and Khunti districts.

Meanwhile, the Jharkhand police are investigating the hundreds of such cases of children who had been earlier lodged at the child home and converted to Christianity after trafficking them from Jharkhand.

“The police party is on its way back from Ludhiana and once it reaches here with all those names, we shall start verifying them,” Kumar added.

Earlier, MyNation had exposed that chasing the trail of these 34 missing tribal children, the police had stumbled upon a massive conversion and exploitation racket spanning right up to urban Punjab.

To find the missing kids, when Jharkhand cops arrived at Ludhiana’s Parikam Mary Cross Child Home, where the children were supposedly lodged, they discovered a ‘black book’ of a big conversion racket, said police sources. This diary or ledger contains names and addresses of more than 1,000 tribal kids who had earlier been converted and dispersed all across India, according to the cops.

The Jharkhand police had exclusively told MyNation that the racket had been running since 2006.
“We received an intelligence report that children had been illegally trafficked from Jharkhand to Ludhiana in the name of imparting education by one Satyendra Moses who runs Parikam Mary Cross Child Home and they are converting these children to Christianity. A team was sent to investigate. The child home authorities said the 34 children had been sent back to their parents. The team is on its way back with the addresses of the concerned kids. We shall crosscheck if they have been indeed returned,” Jharkhand police inspector general (IG) RK Mallik had said.

He said, “At the child home, the police team came across records from 2006 which showed 300-400 kids had been sent to Ludhiana from Jharkhand apparently for studies. We will have to crosscheck all those names now”.

Vinay Joshi, chief of human rights organisation Legal Rights Observatory (LRO), claimed that the number of missing was way more than being conceded by the police. “The Punjab police recovered a diary containing names of 1,000 more kids and their addresses from that child home, but local authorities are trying to cover it up,” said Joshi. IG Mallick also told MyNation that local administration had not been very helpful in their investigation.

LRO, which is working against such conversions under force or inducement, had complained to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Priyanka Kanungo of the NCPCR had instructed the Ludhiana administration to part with a copy of the sinister diary.
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