The Candid Eye

February 17, 2010

Pastor held for detaining three Manipuri kids

Pastor Albert Karunagaran of Purasaiwalkam was arrested by the CB-CID on Wednesday for helping Immanuel — from whose unregistered NGO, Reach Home Children Foundation, the police rescued 16 Manipuri children on January 21 — keep three Manipuri children in hiding for more than 10 days.

When the police rescued the 16 children, three were reportedly hidden in a cupboard in the house. Later, the three were shifted to different houses, including Karunagaran’s, before they were produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on February 4, the police said.

Child Trafficking

Karunagaran had also helped Immanuel shift the children to other houses in Pammal. Two other pastors, Sam Yesudoss and Paul, are said have assisted Immanuel, who had been operating from his hideout and made a bid to send back the three children to Manipur clandestinely through Esther, a former warden of his home.

According to Esther, who now works as a receptionist at a hotel in Lucknow, Immanuel called her over the phone on January 22. He asked her to rush to Chennai and take back the three children she had brought with her in 2008.

Child Trafficking

When she reached the city on January 26, a representative of Immanuel received her and took her to a house, where she saw the three malnourished children, Esther said. Immanuel told her that he was in trouble, gave her Rs 15,000 and asked her to take the children to Manipur secretly. “At that time, I was not aware of the earlier developments,” she said.

Esther had worked as a warden at the children’s home in 2006 for a year before returning to Manipur. She got a call from Immanuel in 2008, who told her that he had received more funds and could help some more children pursue their education. So she brought the three children to the NGO.

In 2006, he had been running another home in Madavaram with 60 children, which he closed down subsequently, she said.A senior officer from the CB-CID said Immanuel has links with several pastors in Andhra Pradesh, Bangalore and Tirunelveli.

Source: Express Buzz

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