14 children ‘trafficked’ from Dhankuta rescued in Capital

Fourteen children, who were allegedly trafficked from Dhankuta, were rescued in Shankhamul on Friday.

The Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), with help from the police, rescued the children aged between three and 12 years.

They were being kept in a camp for earthquake-displaced families.

“The authorities from Dhankuta were trying to rescue the children who were being held by a woman in an unregistered orphanage.

The authorities had informed us that the woman fled to Kathmandu with the children,” said Devi Dotel of the CCWB, who coordinated the rescue effort in Shankhamul.

The children–nine boys and four girls–were being kept in the camp for the past nine days.

Police on Friday arrested Pastor Hari Tamang, who was in charge of the camp leased for five years, where 18 earthquake-affected families from Sindhupalchok, Kavre, Dolakha and Ramechhap districts have been staying after the Gorkha earthquake last year.

Police are yet to arrest the main suspect, Chini Maya Blon, a local from Dhankuta who illegally operated an orphanage in the district.

Pastor Tamang said he was only helping Chini Maya, who wanted to keep the children there for some days before taking them back to Dhankuta.

“She told me she needed a place to keep the children brought from the orphanage for a few days. I don’t have any vested interest in keeping them in the camp,” he said.

“During our investigation, we found that almost all the children have parents and were being held illegally by Chini Maya, who brought them to Kathmandu,” said Namuna Bhusal, programme manager at the CCWB.

According to her, the rescued children are being kept in a government-run shelter and would be reunited with their parents soon.

The Gorkha earthquake last year displaced thousands of children and left many vulnerable to trafficking, particularly from the most-affected districts.

According to the CCWB, 237 children have been missing since the disaster.

Source: The Kathmandu Post