Ground Reports

Government-aided Children's Home Converts Three Hindu Kids To Islam; Child Rights Commission Intervenes

Subhi Vishwakarma

Nov 20, 2022, 09:58 AM | Updated 11:28 AM IST

NCPCR chairman Priyank Kanoongo (seated on the chair in the centre) and Haseen Parvez (seen standing in a white shirt)
NCPCR chairman Priyank Kanoongo (seated on the chair in the centre) and Haseen Parvez (seen standing in a white shirt)
  • As per reports, the children are aged four, six, and eight years respectively.
  • In their new Aadhaar cards, made at the children's home, Haseen Parvez is mentioned as their father.
  • The children were separated from their mother during the first Covid-19-induced lockdown, after the parents had been living apart.
  • Three siblings, all less than nine years of age, who got separated from their parents during a Covid-19-related lockdown, were taken in by a government-aided children's home.

    They were then illegally converted to Islam.

    The matter came to light in a surprise check by Priyank Kanoongo, the chairman of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

    After Kanoongo’s intervention, the children have been ordered to be returned to their parents, who are Hindus, and a police inquiry has been launched into the non-governmental organisation (NGO).

    The incident took place in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh.

    How NCPCR Intervened

    On 12 November, Kanoongo informed through his official Twitter account that a matter of forced religious conversion in Raisen had become known.

    He wrote (translated from Hindi by Swarajya): “During an inspection visit to a child care home in Raisen, a matter of forced religious conversion of three Hindu children has come to light.

    "The child home operator was found preparing documents of these children with new names and new religion. Have instructed the district administration to register a case against operator Haseen Parvez.”

    Kanoongo told Swarajya over the phone on Friday (18 November) that he got a tip-off that children were being converted in a child care centre by the name ‘Godi’, which was operating in Gauharganj area.

    During his inspection visit, the matter was confirmed.

    He said the children at the centre were given new names, and new Aadhaar cards were made for them. When Kanoongo asked the children their actual names, the truth was revealed.

    Kanoongo further told this correspondent that he seized the documents of the children's care home and handed them to a district official.

    He also directed the police to register a first information report (FIR) against Parvez.

    Kids Separated From Parents

    Ram Pal Singh (name changed), a resident of Damoh district of Madhya Pradesh, lives in Mandideep, an industrial area in Bhopal, with his family.

    He has two daughters and a son, besides his wife. He works as a labourer at a company in Mandideep.

    Due to their personal disputes, the parents of these children began living apart. The mother moved to Bhopal with the kids. She took up accommodation on rent near Taj-ul-Mosque area.

    During the first Covid-19-induced lockdown, the children were separated from their mother.

    Assuming the kids were orphans, an NGO named Matura Chaya Samiti presented them before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of Bhopal. The Bhopal CWC transferred the case to the Raisen CWC.

    The Raisen CWC handed over custody of these children to Godi Child Home, located in the Gauharganj area, till such time as their parents were located. It is here, in this child home, that the children’s names were changed and new Aadhaar cards were made for them.

    This information is based on a preliminary probe and was shared with this correspondent by Kanoongo.

    After Kanoongo got information about the case, he personally visited the children's home.

    As per local newspaper reports, the children are aged four, six, and eight years respectively. In their new Aadhaar cards, Parvez is mentioned as their father.

    Reports say the children's home provides shelter to only five children. All the documents available at the facility were seized by the NCPCR chairman.

    Kanoongo told Swarajya that changing the names and religion of the children without the consent of their parents is a violation of laws. 

    In a viral video, Kanoongo can be seen scolding the children's home operator, Parvez. He is seen asking him (Parvez) why he had changed the names of the children.

    Parvez is seen saying, “We cannot change names until CWC orders for the same.”

    Kanoongo asks Parvez to accept his fault and stop the cover-up. He accuses him (Parvez) of forcefully converting the children at the facility. He then directs the CWC to file an FIR against Parvez. 

    As per a news report, the father of these children located them a year after they went missing and reached the children's home. However, he was thrown out of there.

    The father went to the children's home thrice, but was not allowed to meet the kids, says the report, shared by Kanoongo on his Twitter account. 

    The report further says that when the father told his story to an activist, the latter complained about it to the NCPCR.

    On 15 November, Tejgarh police called the father to the circuit house in Raisen, where his statements were recorded in front of Kanoongo.

    Later, the police were instructed to hand over custody of the children to their father.

    (This report has been edited by Swati Goel Sharma.)

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