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24 Feb 2017

Darjeeling DM seeks report on children shifted to Jalpaiguri

Sukiapokhri home
SNS, Siliguri, 23 February 2017: The Darjeeling district magistrate Mr Anurag Srivastava has sought a detailed report on children ferried from the district to Jalpaiguri follow ing the CID probe into alleged infant baby trafficking in the name of adoption.
Authorities had to send babies to Child Care Institutions (CCI) in Jalpaiguri because Darjeeling does not have any government approved adoption centres.
Darjeeling district magistrate has already contacted his Jalpaiguri counterpart to begin a joint verification of reports on infant babies shifted from Darjeeling to Jalpaiguri and the ch children's present status.
The CID officials are also in search of authentic information and official records of the children, mainly those who are up to 6 years old, shifted from Darjeeling to Jalpaiguri, sources said.
The Darjeeling district magistrate has also asked the Siliguri sub-divisional officer (SDO) to look into the matter and to prepare a report in consultation with the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and district child protection Officer (DCPO).
It may be noted that several CCIs, popularly known as home, were mushroomed in this region including both Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri.
Notably, the District Child Protect Unit in Darjeeling, following instruction from the district magistrate, has conducted a survey recently and it has been able to identify a total of 35 CCIs so far in the district and found that almost all CCIs were not registered.
According to sources, of them four CCI including one, under the control of Missionaries of Charity located at Tindharia in Kurseong does not want to register its institution.
Finally, the Missionaries of Charity has 'with-drawn' its CCI from Tindharia and other areas,sources said.
District authorities have finally sent papers of only 12 CCIs from Darjeeling district of the 35 to Kolkata for registration.
A total of 908 children, ranging from 6-18 year old, were in these CCIs in this district. This report was prepared one and a half month ago.
It may be noted that the District Child Protection Unit here has also sought report from the CWC about the infants, who a re in need of care and protection. The report is yet to be prepared for submission to administrative authorities.
The Darjeeling district administration has decided to take stern action against unregistered CCIs after Child Protection Unit found that 17 children are still missing from a so called home, located at Sukiapokhri in Darjeeling Hills.
Even the rector of the home, identified as Ms River Dale, who has reportedly another centre in Nepal, is still absconding after the administration revealed the CCI at Sukiapokhri was set up by procuring false and fake papers.
A total of 21 children were lodged at Sukiapokhri. Of them the administration rescued only four including a 16 year old pregnant girl, who used to roam haplessly in the Hills. The girl conceived as another mate of the CCI came close to her life at Sukiapokhori.
Following instruction from the administration, authorities lodged an FIR with the police against unauthorised CCI at at Sukiapokhri.
When asked to comment the Darjeelin g district magistrate Anurag Srivastava said: 'We have been monitoring the matter under ICPA (Integrated Child Protection Act). We have already identified unregistered Institutions. We have asked them to get registered. We have decided to keep a close watch on them. Our aim is either they should get registered or they will have to be closed down." (Source and Courtesy: SNS, The-Statesman-Siliguri/24th-February-2017#page/14/1)

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