26 Jan 2011

India's Supreme Court orders investigation into trafficking of tribal children by missionaries after Christian pastor arrested

Ecumenical News International - December 6, 2010

Indian churches hail probe into pastor-led 'child trafficking'

Chennai, India (ENInews).

Church officials and activists have welcomed an investigation ordered by India's federal Supreme Court into trafficking in children by pastors and exploitative Christians eyeing ways to pull in foreign donations.

"Such unscrupulous social work by some Christians is bringing discredit to the entire Christian community. Such transplantation will not help the growth of the children," Bishop G. Devakadasham, the Church of South India's deputy moderator, told ENInews.

Devakadasham heads the CSI diocese of Kanyakumari in the southern Tamil Nadu state where the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has conducted raids on dubious orphanages at the direction of the Supreme Court.

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The Times of India - April 1, 2010

SC orders probe into trafficking of NE kids

NEW DELHI: Following reports of 76 children from Assam and Manipur, most of them minor girls, being rescued from "homes" run by missionaries in Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a probe into a possible trafficking racket involving tribal children.

The Tamil Nadu police, in its affidavit before the SC, said, "Pastor Shaji was arrested at Somanur in Coimbatore district on February 12 and remanded to judicial custody. Effective steps are being taken to nab the absconding accused Rev Paul."

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan accepted amicus curiae Aparna Bhat's suggestion for a probe into the matter. The National Commission for Protection of Children's Rights will carry out the probe.

Additional solicitor-general Indira Jaising said the TN police had not detailed the facts of the case to the court. "How could these children be taken more than 1,000km away without anyone noticing anything," Jaising asked.

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