J&K: Police conduct raid at illegal hostel in Kathua, rescue 20 children

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A joint team of civil administration and Kathua police on September 7 raided an illegally run hostel located near a locality called Parliament and rescued eight girls and 12 boys from the age group of five to 16 years who were kept in solitary confinement there for a long time.

Following the raid, inmates were shifted to Bal Ashram and Nari Niketan Kathua.

The police raided the property after receiving a tip-off that unlawful activities were being carried out in the hostel. The raid was conducted on the directives of Rohit Khajuria, District Development Commissioner Kathua and SSP Kathua Shridhar Patil.

Deputy Commissioner Khajuria said, “We got the information around 3 pm that some elements are doing some wrong activity near the Parliament area of Kathua. So after studying the whole issue, a team comprised of two tehsildars, one labour officer and policemen were sent to the location. After conducting interviews with the kids, our team raided the place, rescued the children and arrested the owner of the hostel.”

Medical reports of the children are awaited to ascertain if they were sexually abused or not.

“When our team enquired about the registration of the hostel, the man first said that he is running the accommodation after tying up with Pathankot Church. After his statement, the team called the Pathankot church authority, who denied any such agreement,” Khajuria added.

An FIR has been filed against the hostel owner, who is currently under police custody.