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Nepali children trafficked under 'education' pretext

Publication Date : 19-05-2014

 

Nepali police said they have rescued more than 100 children aged five to 14 from the Nepal-India border in the past two-and-a-half months as the trend of trafficking minors to India on the pretext of providing them free education in Buddhist monasteries is on the rise of late.

In a recent move, the Area Police Post in Jamunaha rescued 10 minors from Rasuwa who were being taken to India and arrested three men-Ludung Chewang Lama, 17, Dhan Bahadur Ghale, 18, and Tenzing Ghale of Ghelchung VDC in Rasuwa.

The arrested men, however, claimed that they were taking the children with permission from their parents to provide them free Buddhist education at monasteries with residential facilities.

In another incident on April 15, police rescued 24 children from Makawanpur and Rasuwa, being taken to India on the same pretext and arrested Doman Lama of Makawanpur and Urdin Tamang of Rasuwa. Lama and Tamang also claimed that they were taking the children to monasteries in West Bengal and Karnataka for education.

Likewise, police arrested Tshering Sherpa and Sancha Bahadur Tamang of Nuwakot while the latter were taking 11 children from Nuwakot across the border on April 12. Police said they investigating into the matter. All of the rescued children aged five to 14 and belong to the Lama, Tamang, and Sherpa communities from hilly districts of Rasuwa, Makwanpur, Nuwakot, and Solukhumbu.

Meanwhile, guardians coming to take their children also claimed to have consented to send their children to India following assurance from the men, now arrested, to provide free education to their children.

The arrestees are found to have taken the children with them after verbal agreements with parents even though the law requires them to receive recommendations from the concerned VDC, local administration and Women and Children Office to take the kids across the border.

“None of the arrested has followed the due procedure,” said Keshab Koirala, coordinator of Maiti Nepal in Nepalgunj. “Traffickers used to take children to India for jobs in the past but they seem to have started taking on the pretext of religious education,” he said.

“The recent instances have made it clear that traffickers have adopted a new method of taking guardians into confidence,” said Sub-inspector Suman Kharel of Jamunaha Police Post.

 

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