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28 Ladakhi kids rescued in Jammu
Mon, 25 Oct 2010 01:13:35 GMT
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A Ladakhi child (file photo)
Jammu police in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir have rescued 28 Ladakhi children, including four girls, from a Jammu hostel run by an NGO and arrested five of its members.

The children were kidnapped after the flash floods in August that killed over 170 people in the main town of India's Himalayan region of Ladakh, local police reported on Sunday.

The search began after parents complained that the children had been kidnapped by members of the non-governmental organization Youth Movement of Peace on the pretext that the NGO had taken responsibility for the children. The Youth Movement of Peace had promised the children that they would be admitted to prestigious schools in Jammu.

But the children were kept in confinement in dingy rooms, the police report said, adding that the children have been handed over to the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), which will hand them over to their parents on Monday.

The police said that after the late Friday night raid on the hostel, they freed the children and arrested five members of the NGO on charges of kidnapping, abduction, devising a criminal conspiracy, and wrongful confinement.

According to the police, members of the NGO had gone to the flood-affected areas and distributed aid among the flood victims.

The police said that the LBA had informed them of the whereabouts of the children and told them they were being held in horrible conditions.

The 24 boys were locked up inside a small room, while the four girls were locked up in another room.

The police said that they have temporarily housed the children at the Ladakh-Kargil House near the Jammu railway station, where they will stay until the LBA people come to pick them up.

A police team led by District Inspector General Farooq Khan has begun an investigation into allegations that the children were kidnapped with the aim of pressuring them for religious conversion.

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