Proprietors of an orphanage under fire over allegations of trafficking children from eastern states moved the Kerala High Court on Monday to implead them as respondents in a public interest litigation (PIL) that sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the charges.
Abdul Gafoor, academic director of the Mukkom Muslim Orphanage in Kozhikode, said in the PIL that children living in the orphanage and managers of the institution had undergone severe stress due to the allegations, which have since kicked up a political storm in the state.
“Children living in our orphanage and possessing all the mandatory documents were clubbed with children who were travelling ticketless in the train, detained and handed over to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). We had to go through a lot of trouble before regaining their custody after 15 days,” Gafoor told Deccan Herald.
Railway police had intercepted more than 500 children on May 24 and 25 in Palakkad being reportedly brought from Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal to two orphanages in Kozhikode and Malappuram.
Many of the children have since been sent home, even as the orphanages maintained that the incident did not involve trafficking.