KATHUA, Sept 7: A joint team of civil administration and Kathua police today raided an illegally run hostel in the town here and rescued eight girls and 12 boys who were kept in solitary confinement there for a long time.
The raid was conducted on the directives of District Development Commissioner Kathua, Rohit Khajuria and SSP Kathua, Shridhar Patil who after receiving public complaints about the running of illegal hostel in the town constituted a team headed by Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Kathua, Assistant Labor Commissioner, comprising of tehsildars Jai Singh and Surinderjeet and SHO Kathua. They raided the hostel run by an outsider couple in the town and rescued the eight girls and 12 boys from the age group of five to 16 years.
Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Jitender Mishra who headed the team told Excelsior that the children screamed and sobbed after seeing that the official team has come to their rescue and they alleged that they were being harassed and tortured by the couple who had kept them in their captivity for a long time.
He said that children said that they were subjected to every kind of torture by the couple and were not allowed to leave the hostel. He said the man who runs the hostel was from Kerala State and the children were from the States of Punjab, HP and J&K. The children from Samba, Bari Brahmana and Jammu were also there who were rescued by the team.
He said the children ere rescued by the raiding team and were kept in Bal Ashram and Nari Neketan Kathua. Their parents were contacted and tomorrow they will be handed over to their families, he added.
He said the kingpin running the illegal hostel has been arrested by Kathua Police and case under relevant sections of the law has been registered against him.
He said during the time of the raid the wife of the kingpin running the hostel was not there and she is still at large. He said all the equipments including the computers were seized by the raiding team on spot.
He said further investigation will be held in the matter to ascertain the motive behind the running of hostel.
Meanwhile some social organizations have expressed their grave concern over the illegal confinement and torturing of the children in a hostel by the couple belonging to Kerala State and demanded stern action against them.