7-year-old boy tortured in Kerala shelter home

7-year-old boy tortured in Kerala shelter home

In another incident exposing violence on children in shelter homes of Kerala, a seven-year-old boy has been admitted in the Kottayam Medical College Hospital with injuries sustained over what is reported as torture that “lasted months”. The boy was the inmate of Maria Paripala Balasadanam in Poolani in Thrissur district. The police have registered a case against an employee of the shelter home in connection with the alleged torture.

The boy’s mother had taken him home during the summer holidays when the child started complaining about frequent headaches. Childline activists said that even a month after her son told her about torture at the shelter home, his mother decided filing a police complaint “probably” because she did not have any support from her family. A hospital check-up revealed more injuries including one in his head. The police said the child sustained burn injuries during the torture and could also have been subjected to sexual abuse. He is admitted in the ICU and is responding well to the treatment.

Members of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) recorded the child’s statement at the hospital. Raju, a Childline activist in Kottayam, said the boy told the CWC members in detail about the assaults; he is learnt to have been hit on his head by kitchen vessels. “The district Childline unit has taken over custody of the child. The Thrissur unit of Childline has also joined us in ensuring protection. A police case has been filed against an employee of the shelter home who tortured him,” Raju told Deccan Herald on Wednesday.

A police official in Koratty in Thrissur said a case has been registered against a caretaker at the shelter home, identified as Justin, under provisions of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act and The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. “The caretaker has denied the charges but we have him under surveillance,” the police official told Deccan Herald.

He said reasons behind delay in informing the police about the torture were also being traced.

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