Boys at Kerala Children’s Home Run by VHP Attacked by Staff

Staff members of children’s home in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district run by the VHP attacked 7 resident children.

2 min read
Staff members of children’s home in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district run by the VHP attacked 7 resident children.

Five people, including staff members of a children’s home in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district run by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), have been accused of physically assaulting seven resident children on Saturday, 29 February.

Out of seven boys who were hospitalised following the incident, two suffered head injuries.

It has been alleged that the children were assaulted by staff who claimed that they were not abiding by the rules of the institution, the Vivekananda Ashram at Adoor in Pathanamthitta.

This includes not getting up on a specific time and for not offering prayers. For this, the children were allegedly hit on their heads with chairs by the accused persons. The children have alleged that one of the persons attacking them was drunk.

Two people, both staff members of the home, have been arrested, while the remaining are absconding.

“We did not go to the prayer and straight away went to the study room… one person who was drunk took the chair and hit me in my head, and next, hit another child. Our heads were bleeding and we ran out of the place,”
one of the children who suffered a head injury told Asianet News.

According to the police, the assault was carried out by a group of five persons, including the two arrested staff members of the children’s home. This also includes a person affiliated with the BJP, who is not connected to the Vivekananda children’s home, an official of Adoor police station told TNM.

Three out of the five accused are absconding.

“The children were assaulted by the accused for not abiding with the rules of the institution. We are yet to nab three of the accused, while two have been arrested and have been remanded,”
Police official

The two arrested staff members — Ashokan and Vijayan — have been booked under sections 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 308 (Attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code; and section 75 (Punishment for cruelty to child) of Juvenile Justice Act.

Meanwhile officials of the Child Protection Committee have intervened and have ordered for a detailed enquiry. The children, who will be discharged from the hospital on Monday, 2 March, will be shifted to another facility and will not be sent back to the VHP-run institution.

“Whatever the reason might be, it is in no way justifiable to physically assault the children. There will be strict action against the accused. Based on the enquiry report, further action will be initiated,”
Advocate C Zakir Hussain, chairman of CWC told TNM.

He also said that the institution has proper permission to run the facility but there was some lack of amenities for the children.

“But at present our first concern is to find out why such an attack was done to the children,” he said.

A total of 29 inmates, all minor boys, had been residing in the institution.

(This story has been published in arrangement with The News Minute)

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