South Kashmir NGO ‘Selling’ Covid Orphans Sealed, 2 Held

Photo Courtesy: Internet

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday arrested two people and sealed their non-governmental organization (NGO) in south Kashmir’s Pampore town over allegations of illegal adoption and "sale" of children orphaned by Covid-19 in Kashmir

The crackdown on ‘Global Welfare Charitable Trust’ came shortly after Mission Director; Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) Shabnam Kamili took cognizance of media reports claiming children orphaned by Covid-19 were being sold in Indian markets.

Sub-Division police officer (SDPO), Pampore, Imtiyaz Ahmad told Kashmir Observer that two people were arrested and the office of the NGO was sealed in Pampore on Thursday morning.

He identified the arrested men as Aijaz Ahmad Dar of Pampore and Asrar Amin of Bemina, Srinagar.

“We have also seized some documents from the office before sealing it. It’s not an orphanage but a trust where the accused would collect donations in the name of orphans,” Ahmad said.

Police, he said, have also filed an FIR 153/2021 under section 370 IPC (Buying or disposing of any person as a slave) 120B (criminal conspiracy) 81 juvenile justice act (Sale and procurement of children for any purpose) on Wednesday and started investigations to probe the sensational case.

“No child has been sold so far by the accused and no one was recovered from the trust. However, the accused were about to open an orphanage and were seeking donation for the same,” the SDPO, Pampore said.

“We are also investigating under which circumstance the video was shot and where it was taken,” he added.

Pertinently, India Today ran a sting operation showing Amin offering children orphaned by coronavirus pandemic in the Valley against a considerable amount of cash. The IT sting operation and the reports in the local media following the expose, set alarm bells ringing in the administration.

Social Welfare Department Secretary Sheetal Nanda took up the issue with IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar for immediate action in the matter.

The government also constituted fact finding committees for Jammu and Kashmir divisions in order to ascertain the number of orphans/Covid orphans and their well-being in all the districts of J&K.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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