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Maulana Held for Sexual Abuse at Pune Orphanage; 36 Children Rescued, Trafficking Suspected

The statements of the children were recorded by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). During investigation, it was found that all the children hail from Bihar and some of them are not even orphans, triggering suspicions of a child trafficking racket.

Chaitanya Mangure | CNN-News18

Updated:July 28, 2018, 12:55 PM IST
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Maulana Held for Sexual Abuse at Pune Orphanage; 36 Children Rescued, Trafficking Suspected
Representational Image.

Pune: In one of the biggest rescue operations carried out in the city, 36 children were freed from a Muslim orphanage in Pune's Katraj area after two of them alleged persistent sexual exploitation by a maulana. The accused cleric was arrested by the police and booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act on Friday.

Two boys, both 10-year-old, had recently escaped from the orphanage and were found at the railway station by an NGO.

On being questioned as to why they chose to run away, the boys revealed that they were scared after a cleric, who visited the orphanage, sexually abused one of the inmates on several occasions in the name of education.

The accused, 21-year-old Maulana Rahim, was a teacher at the orphanage, which runs under the banner of Jamiatul Khairiya Al-Islamia Educational and Charitable Trust. The rescued children, all aged between 8 to 15, were forced to live in inhuman conditions with no toilets but plastic water tanks, said the police after they raided the orphanage.

The statements of the children were recorded by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). During investigation, it was found that all the children hail from Bihar and some of them are not even orphans, triggering suspicions of a child trafficking racket.

"We took the two boys to the CWC where they revealed that they were being sexually exploited by their teacher. We then approached the police and raided the orphanage," Yamini Adbe, Child rights activist told News18.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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