Were Minors Trained as ‘Terrorists’ in Madarsa Held in Kolkata?
A video of a group of minors being held in what appears to be a railway station in Kolkata has been doing the rounds on social media.
It was shared by multiple users with the claim that the children all belonged to a Madarsa in the Raja Bazaar area, where they were being trained as ‘terrorists’.
The video has also found its way to Facebook.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The claims made in the posts shared with the video are false. Firstly, it is not a recent video but one of a 2015 incident. Secondly, the minors were neither arrested nor were they receiving terror training.
The story had also gone viral in 2015, with a user sharing it with a similar narrative.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT?
A simple Google search with the keywords “Muslim+Kids+Detained+Kolkata” led us to an Indian Express report on the incident, dated 4 August 2015.
As per the news report, the group of minors were intercepted at Kolkata’s Sealdah railway station. They had come from different parts of Bihar and were on their way to a Madarsa in Pune by train. The report said that they were detained as they lacked proper documentation.
The report added that they were sent to state-run homes by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) after being detained but were released soon after, because of protests in Sealdah and Raja Bazaar areas of the city.
The Hindu also quoted the then Chairperson of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Asokendu Sengupta as saying: “We will follow the provisions laid down by the law in this case. If documents of children being admitted to madarsa will be provided, the CWC will release them. The children will also be released if parents want them to return home.”
The Quint got in touch with Sengupta to know more about the events that led to the detention of the minors.
He confirmed that the minors were detained by the CRPF and the Government Railway Police Force (GRPF) at the Sealdah station in 2015.
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He also added that they were sent back to their respective districts shortly after being released.
“The children were sent back to their respective districts, where the concerned CWCs received them. The CWCs take over as legal guardians of all children in need of care and protection – as per the Juvenile Justice Act. They took the necessary steps to restore the children.”Ashokendu Sengupta told The Quint
With respect to the “terror training” angle, Sengupta said that it was a far-fetched claim.