Even before the horrors of Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes case could settle, at least 20 children were rescued from an illegal orphanage in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district after they had complained of misbehaviour and sexual abuse by the authorities of the hostel. Out of 20 rescued children, 8 were girls and 12 were boys. During investigations, it was found that the orphanage was being run by father Thomas Antony who belonged from Kerala. As per reports, the rescued children also claimed that they were sexually abused and tortured by Thomas on the almost daily basis.

As per reports, the rescued children belonged to the age group of 10 years to 15 years. The orphanage was reportedly located in Parliwand ward number 7 in Kathua town.

Commenting on the matter, assistant commissioner (revenue) Jitendra Mishra told HT that he was asked to raid the orphanage by Kathua deputy commissioner Rohit Khajuria on Friday evening.

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After they reached the orphanage, they couldn’t find any board or hoarding suggesting that the rented place was being used to run an orphanage. later, when they questioned Thomas Antony, he said that he had been running it in liaison with the Pentecostal Mission in Pathankot.

When the investigating officers cross-checked it, they were left shocked as Pentecostal Mission in Pathankot outrightly denied any links with the orphanage.

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Commenting on the matter, Kathua Deputy Commissioner Rohit Khajuria said the owner of the orphanage has been arrested and an FIR has been lodged against him. He added that while the aids were being conducted they noticed that there was no female warden to look after the girls. He added the statements of the rescued children have been taken and they will also be conducting a medical examination of the 20 children.

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