20 boys from Jharkhand, two from West Bengal

The district administration on Tuesday sent back 22 of the 24 minor boys rescued from an institution at Umayanallur here on June 9 to their homes in Jharkhand and West Bengal by train.

Twenty of the boys are from Jharkhand and two from West Bengal. The remaining two are from Karunagapally near Kollam and have been handed over to their parents.

Three police officers and 10 other officials are accompanying the boys. From Kollam they boarded the Nethravathi Express for Ernakulam in the morning and from there, the Patna Express that left in the evening. After handing over the 20 boys to government authorities in Jharkhand, the officers from Kerala will go to West Bengal to handover the two boys to the authorities there.

The 24 boys, in the age group 11 to 16 years, were rescued by the police from the Jamaleyya Arabic College following a raid on grounds that the boys were victims of child trafficking.

Police officials found that the boys were housed there without any valid documents.

District Collector Pranab Jyothinath, who inspected the institution soon after the raid, ordered its closure and since then the 22 boys were accommodated at the Children’s Home here. The boys were sent home after completion of all mandatory formalities.

The Social Justice Department had made an allocation of Rs.74,000 to meet the expenses for sending back the boys to their homes. The Collector contacted the Social Welfare Department, the police, and other NGOs from Jharkhand so as to ensure the safe return of the boys to their homes.

Before their departure the boys were subjected to a medical test at the District Hospital.

A case has been registered against the authorities of the Jamaleeyya Arabic College under relevant provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act on charges of unauthorised detainment of the boys.

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