Collector orders closure of Jamaleyya Arabic College

The police on Monday inspected the Jamaleyya Arabic College at Perayam Chira, near Umayanallur here, and found 24 boys in the 10-16 age group housed there without valid documents.

The action, on the basis of a tip-off, was part of a State-wide crackdown on child trafficking.

District Collector Pranab Jyothinath inspected the institution and ordered its immediate closure. The children were housed in unhygienic conditions. They would be placed under the care of the Social Welfare Department, Mr. Jyothinath said. An inquiry into the activities of the institution had been ordered.

The police said 20 children were from Jharkhand, two from West Bengal, and as many from Karunagapally in Kollam.

The college, managed by the Khathiba Trust, had one Navas Rashidi, of Nilamel, as the chief patron. The institution was initially registered as a madrasa. It was not found to be functioning as an orphanage, sources said.

The police said none of the children found there were orphans. All of them were there ‘to learn the Koran.’ Those from Jharkhand were brought by one Abdu Muhani, a native of Jharkhand who was also the Koran teacher of the institution. The two from West Bengal told the police that they had come with a group of migrant labourers.

In December 2009, one Ainul Haq had brought seven children from Jharkhand to the institution. That batch had returned in August 2013, the police said. Bringing children from Jharkhand to Kollam ‘to study Koran’ was being investigated, the police said.

The Special Branch (CID) of the police was preparing a detailed report to be submitted to the government this week.

Officers of the Social Welfare Department were present during the raid.

More In: Kerala | National