CRIME WATCH: 4 children freed from clutches of ‘sadhu’ – saved in the nick of time by vigilant policeman – but no parental neglect ?!!

CRIME WATCH: 4 children freed from clutches of ‘sadhu’ – saved in the nick of time by vigilant policeman – but no parental neglect ?!!

Bandhan being taken to court on Wednesday. (Photo by Anirban Choudhury)

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Alipurduar, May 12: Four children aged between 11 and 17 years were rescued from Hasimara railway station yesterday after a “sadhu” accompanying them stoked the suspicions of a policeman.

Bandhan Lakra, who was masquerading as the “sadhu” with a long beard, has been arrested.

Around 8.30am, Niloy Jha, an assistant sub-inspector of police of the Hasimara outpost, was patrolling the station area, 40km from here, when he noticed Bandhan moving around with the children, one of them a girl.

Jha started grilling Bandhan who after disclosing his name, said he was taking the children to Delhi. Suspecting foul play, Jha took the man along with the children to the police outpost, about 300 metres away.

Bandhan, a resident of Samuktala, later told the police that he was about to board the Mahananda Express to Delhi and he was taking the children there to give them jobs in a private factory Bandhan also said that he had taken permission from their parents.

During interrogation, the police found that two children, including the girl, were from Jainti Tea Estate, one was from Simlabari near Samuktala and the other from Rangamati Tea Estate near Kalchini.

Hasimara police contacted their counterparts at Samuktala who informed the parents. They identified their wards at the outpost yesterday.

Magra Kujur, the father of one of the rescued boys, said: “We had been looking for our son for the past three days. We were very worried and contacted all possible places. Yesterday afternoon, Samuktala police informed us that Hasimara police have rescued a few children. I was very happy to see my son. This man never talked to us and we do not know him.” After verification, the children were handed over to their parents on personal release bonds.

Samir Majumder, assistant public prosecutor at the court of the additional district magistrate, said Bandhan has been remanded in police custody for 10 days. Bandhan later confessed that he sold children in Delhi in the guise of a “sadhu”. The man has been booked under sections 365, 363 and 366(a) for kidnapping the children.

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