IUML, a key partner in Kerala's ruling Congress-led UDF, on Monday came out strongly against the Home Department and Child Rights Commission for running down orphanages managed by Muslim religious outfits in the context of alleged trafficking of children from eastern states. A meeting of Indian Union Muslim League working committee held here claimed the arrival of over 500 children, mostly from Jharkhand and West Bengal, was being projected with the intention of casting orphanages in Malabar region of Kerala in poor light.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, IUML General Secretary and Lok Sabha member ET Muhammad Basheer said the party's serious concern over the matter would be conveyed to the government. The League would press for "corrections" in the FIR lodged in the case since serious charges had been made against the authorities of orphanages, which smacked of prejudice, he said.
The party took serious objections to the statements made by DIG S Sreejith, nodal officer of state Human Rights Trafficking Cell. "The DIG is only an investigator. How could he arrive at definite conclusions and make specific charges before the investigation is completed"? he said. The course of investigation was moving in a direction as if its sole purpose was to malign reputed charity homes, the League leader alleged.
Police have claimed to have unearthed a child trafficking racket with the arrest of eight persons who had accompanied over 500 children who reached Palakkad by train recently. The children were moved to child care homes in the district.
A team of officials from Jharkhand is in Kerala and after preliminary interaction with children they said there were grounds to believe that this was a case of human trafficking.