The Karnataka Police have booked National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairman Priyank Kanoongo, a day after he said the children at a Bengaluru orphanage are living a “medieval Taliban life”, officials said.
Kanoongo, after a surprise inspection at the Muslim orphanage, has recently said that it was being run illegally with no basic facilities for the children.
The police registered a case Monday based on the complaint of Ashraf Khan, secretary of the orphanage ‘Darul Uloom Sayideeya Yateemkhana’ located in Kaval Bairasandra.
Ashraf Khan in his complaint stated that Kanoongo was spreading false news to spread hate among communities.
He told The Indian Express that he was shocked to read Kanoongo’s post on X and wondered how could the chairman compare the children and facilities at the orphanage to some terror groups.
“When Kanoongo came here he claimed to be from the human rights commission. He inspected the entire premises. The children who had their lunch were sleeping inside and he appreciated the facilities provided and also assured to provide funds to develop the place. We also explained to him that more than 60 orphan children who lost their parents during COVID-19 were being taken care of,” Khan said.
A furious Khan said the management takes care of around 200 children by seeking monetary aid, groceries and other things from the public.
The number of children increased after the pandemic outbreak, as some of them lost parents to Covid-19, he said.
“Parents who are unable to afford education and life for their children leave them here. We provide them with basic education, but not formal. We teach them life lessons. If someone comes forward to provide formal education, we will be very happy. We have been running this organisation since 1980 and till now none had any problems with it,” Khan explained.
DJ Halli police registered a case under sections 447 (criminal trespass), 448 (house trespass) and 295 (a) (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).
On Tuesday, a delegation comprising police and other local leaders visited the orphanage and spoke to children and enquired about their wellbeing. Asked whether the institution was registered with any government agency, Khan said that they are registered under Darul Uloom Sayeediyah Trust, which runs schools and colleges.
After his visit, the NCPCR directed the Karnataka chief secretary to register a case against the orphanage, saying the children at the facility are living a “medieval Taliban life”.
What did the NCPCR chairman say?
Kanoongo who visited the orphanage on Sunday posted on X that all 200 children at the institution study only Islamic education at the madrassa (Muslim school) on orphanage premises throughout the day and no child is sent to school.
He alleged that there were no toys and children were scared whenever they saw a Maulavi (Muslim religious scholar) coming. The children, he said, are made to wake up at 3.30 am to go to the madrassa and sleep in the afternoon. They train them to read the Quran from evening to night with short breaks for namaz during the day.
Kanoongo said that it has come to light that the orphanage that has property worth crores of rupees runs a separate building on the premises but the children are not allowed to go there.
“These children are living a medieval Taliban life, life is not written for them in the Constitution,” he wrote on X.