NHRC notice to the Governments of Tamil Nadu and Bihar over reported torture of 12 orphaned juveniles brought from Bihar to a Madrasa in Chennai

New Delhi:3 December, 2022

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that two persons have been arrested in Chennai, Tamil Nadu for housing and abusing orphaned juveniles from Bihar and rescued 12 children from a Madrasa located at Ponniammanmedu.

The Commission has issued notices to the Chief Secretaries to the Governments of Tamil Nadu and Bihar and the Commissioner of Police, Chennai, Tamil Nadu calling for a detailed report in the matter, within 4 weeks.

The Commission has observed that though the police has reportedly acted promptly and the accused have been arrested but the matter is grave and serious in nature requiring a thorough investigation by the law enforcing and child welfare agencies to see if there are other such facilities, where the innocent children are being brought from other parts of the country and being subjected to abuse and harassment.

The Commission would also like to know the present health status of the victim boys and further action taken or proposed to be taken by the agencies concerned, according to the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act to ensure protection of the victims.

In addition to this, the Commission has asked its Special Rapporteur, Dr. Rajinder Kumar Malik to visit the State of Bihar from where these juveniles were brought to Tamil Nadu. He is expected to conduct a Fact Finding investigation with regard to the incident wherein young orphaned juvenile victims were taken to places in different States. It is necessary for the Commission to know about the responsible agencies in the State of Bihar who failed to do their lawful duty. He has also been asked to meet and examine the victim juveniles in Chennai to know more about the incident. His report is expected within one month.

According to the media report, carried on 1.12.2022, the police had got information through 1098 Helpline that some children are being subjected to harassment and physical abuse in a Madrasa located at Ponniammanmedu near Madhavaram in Chennai. A criminal case has been registered under relevant sections of the IPC and the accused, who belong to the State of Bihar, have been arrested. It is further mentioned that in the presence of a Child Welfare Officer, the children were taken by the police to the government children’s hospital and later, they were shifted to Royapuram Boys Home.