News Karnataka
Saturday, April 13 2024

Girls in Bengaluru Orphanage Being Prepared for Marriage in Gulf Nations: “Rishta Lagwati Hai Kuwait Main”

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 Bengaluru : A surprise inspection conducted on Friday revealed distressing conditions at an illegal orphanage in Bengaluru, uncovering a dire situation for the imprisoned girls therein. Approximately 20 girls were found in this inadequately ventilated facility situated in Ashwath Nagar, Amarjyoti layout, reportedly operated by a woman identified as Salma. Concerns have been raised by child rights authorities suggesting a potential network of traffickers exploiting the girls, possibly funneling them to Gulf countries under the guise of marriage.

The Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Priyank Kanoongo, who led the inspection, expressed dismay over the orphanage’s conditions.

“In the course of inspecting an illegal orphanage in Bengaluru, alarming revelations have surfaced,” Kanoongo stated in a post on X in Hindi. “The girls are deprived of education, living in a space devoid of adequate ventilation or even windows, essentially held captive,” he added.

Kanoongo noted that some of the girls had attended school before their confinement in the orphanage, but their education has been halted. Following the visit, he remarked, “We were probing an illegal orphanage where approximately 20 girls, some orphaned or semi-orphaned, were housed; however, the exact count remains uncertain as our inquiry was obstructed.”

Regarding the allegations of forced marriages in Kuwait, Kanoongo mentioned an interaction with a girl who disclosed that Salma, the caretaker, facilitates such unions.

“In conversations, the girls revealed that Salma arranges marriages for them in Kuwait,” Kanoongo shared in his post on X. “Preliminary indications suggest that this orphanage serves as a grooming ground for trafficking girls under the pretext of marriage in Gulf countries,” he elaborated.

Kanoongo also highlighted similar incidents reported in South India. He alleged interference during attempts to present the girls to the Child Welfare Committee, attributing it to Salma and an individual named Shameer, who reportedly mobilized disruptors.

“Despite police intervention to quell the disturbance, one of the agitators rallied others via phone and mosque announcements,” Kanoongo claimed.

Following police advice, NCPRI and Child Welfare Committee members relocated to a police station. Kanoongo criticized the police for allegedly refusing to file a First Information Report (FIR), attributing it to what he termed as the Karnataka government’s leniency toward criminals.

In response, the Bengaluru Police pledged action, stating, “We have informed relevant authorities for necessary action,” along with providing emergency contact details for distressed individuals.

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