Row over Bengaluru orphanage: NCPCR chief booked for trespassing and passing derogatory remark

Row over Bengaluru orphanage: NCPCR chief booked for trespassing and passing derogatory remark

Bengaluru, Nov 24 (PTI) Bengaluru Police have registered an FIR against National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Chairman Priyank Kanoongo over alleged trespassing into an orphanage and stating that the children there are living a 'medieval Taliban life', officials said on Friday.

Darul Uloom Sayideeya Yateemkhana came into the spotlight after an NCPCR team headed by its chief conducted a surprise inspection at the orphanage on November 19 in the presence of the District Child Protection Officer (East) along with other officials.

Following the visit, the orphanage’s secretary, Ashraf Khan filed a complaint at DJ Halli police alleged that Kanoongo trespassed into the premises claiming to be from the Human Rights Commission and without permission on November 19.

Kanoongo also recorded a video on his phone and shared it on social media, the complaint alleged.

Khan also accused the NCPCR chairman of comparing the lives of children living in the orphanage to that under Taliban rule.

'Based on the complaint received, an FIR was registered against the NCPCR chairman on November 21 under sections 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 447 (criminal trespass), 448 (house trespass), and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code,” a senior police officer said.

Reacting to the FIR registered against him, the NCPCR Chairman told PTI Videos, 'It has come to my notice that the Karnataka government has lodged a fake case against me. As part of my duty as NCPCR chairman, I went to the orphanage to visit.

'I was also accompanied by other state government officials of Karnataka. Despite that, they have registered a case of criminal trespass… If you keep children illegally in your house and do not follow the rules of the government, we will keep going again…,' he said.

The NCPCR chairman had also asked the chief secretary of the Karnataka government to ensure that an FIR be registered against the Bengaluru-based orphanage for alleged non-compliance with the Juvenile Justice Act.

In a letter to the chief secretary, the NCPCR said the orphanage is not registered under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and that it does not fulfill the infrastructural requirements for accommodating such a large number of children.

There were five rooms of approximately 100 square feet and each room had four bunk beds for eight children and 16 children slept on four bunk beds placed in the corridor. Around 150 children sleep in two big halls used for prayer, it said.

'None of these children are sent to school, violating their fundamental right to education. No recreational facility such as play material or TV is available in the orphanage. The condition in which children are kept in the orphanage amounts to violation of Section 75 of the JJ Act, 2015,' the NCPCR said in its letter.

The Commission has also sought an action taken report within seven days of issuance of the letter. PTI AMP RS ANE

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