Altogether 24 of the 34 tribal children allegedly trafficked from Jharkhand to an illegal shelter home in Punjab were traced and two persons were arrested, the police said on Sunday.
"We have rescued four children who were reportedly pursuing their studies in the three-room shelter home in Ludhiana and arrested two persons, including the owner of the home," Superintendent of Police, West Singhbhum, G Kranthi Kumar said.
As the home authorities claimed that they had sent back 30 children, physical verification of 20 of them was made in West Singhbhum district, while the search is on for the remaining ten, Kumar said.
Those arrested were identified as Satyendra Prasad Moses (56), the shelter home operator in Ludhiana and a resident of Gaya district of Bihar and Junul Longo, a resident of Gudri police station in West Singhbhum, he added.
Both the accused were produced before a local court in Chaibasa on Saturday and forwarded to judicial custody for 14 days, he said.
Based on a report of the Special Branch, Ranchi that 34 children from the state were taken to a Ludhiana-based shelter home and allegedly converted to Christianity, a police team headed by the Officer-in-charge of Anti-Human Trafficking Unit police station, Banarasi Ram was sent to Punjab to rescue the children.
Jyotsana Tirkey, a member of Child Welfare Committee, Chaibasa had lodged a complaint on August 26 on the basis of a media report that 34 children from Jharkhand were illegally kept in the missionary-run children shelter home, where efforts were on to convert them to Christianity and engage them in child labour.
Tirkey alleged that Longo had lured the children with the false promise of education and employment.