26 Girls Missing From Illegal Bhopal Hostel. Forced Conversion Alleged

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The 26 girls missing are from the Anchal Girls Hostel

Bhopal:

Some 26 girls are reported missing from a children’s home in Bhopal which was allegedly operating without permission. Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has urged the state government for action in the case.

“The case of the disappearance of 26 girls from a children’s home operating without permission in Parwalia police station area of Bhopal has come to my notice,” Mr Chouhan said in a post on X.

“Considering the seriousness and sensitivity of the matter, I urge the government to take cognizance and take immediate action,” he added.

When the team of Child Protection Commission reached the Anchal Girls Hostel, which is some 20 km from Bhopal, it found that the NGO was rescuing children and keeping them in the illegal children’s home.

“It has been in operation for about 4-5 years. Although no one is allowed to come inside, the girls were sometimes taken to the market. Often 2-3 vehicles used to come here at midnight and then return again at 2-3 in the night. Madam used to do the work of bringing the girls to the market and to school ,” said Pawan, a local.

It is also alleged that girls were forced to practice Christian rituals at the hostel. Documents show that there are 68 registered children at the center, however only 41 girls have been found. The girls are from Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand.

National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chief Priyank Kanoongo has written to the Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary,  Veera Rana, and sought a report within seven days.

An FIR has been registered at Parwaliya Sadak Police Station in Bhopal under sections of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

“We are investigating the crime, action will be taken accordingly. Crime has been registered under the Juvenile Justice Act. Further action will be taken according to the norms,” said Manju Tiwari, Sub Divisional Police Officer.

The FIR further says that the children’s home was not being run under the Juvenile Justice Act and was unregistered.

“There are many SC/ST children, most of whom are Hindus and three are Muslim girls who were being made to practice Christianity. If we had information about these children, we could have got them scholarships. Many such children are missing for whom it is being said that they have gone to their parents. There is no photograph or document of where the parents have gone with them. How children from Vidisha, Balaghat, Sehore, Jharkhand, Gujarat got to this Bhopal center is the the big question,” said Nivedita Sharma, member, Child Commission Madhya Pradesh.

The Congress has slammed the state government over the disappearance of girls.

“When there is a BJP government, such illegal child protection homes emerge rapidly, there is religious conversion and a disgusting game of human trafficking and immoral activities abound. The number of slaughterhouses also increases under the BJP rule. Politics is done by the BJP in the name of religion and such activities take place only during their rule. It’s embarrassing,” said Sajjan Singh Verma, former minister, Congress.

Defending the government, the BJP spokesperson said that the matter is being investigated.

“Such a case has come to notice. The government has taken immediate action and this is being investigated. Whenever such an incident occurs in Madhya Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party government will take immediate action on it. There is no place for such acts in the society. Congress too, when such an incident happens, should leave politics and join hands with the state government,” said BJP spokesperson Shivam Shukla.

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