|Former VHP world leader questioned by police, woman organizer arrested for child abuse|
Feb 4 2007 , Vandiperiyar, Idukki, Kerala
Dr. Puthezhath Ramachandran, former Vice President of Vishwa Hindu Parishath (World Operations) and a local VHP leader called Kuttan Sami of Pambanar was questioned by Kerala Police on funding a child home which faces charges on child abuse. The alleged institution, Balamandiram based in Inchikkattu Kurishumala Puthuvalil is believed to be funded by a charity organization, Viswa Manava Vedi, lead by the former VHP leader. One of the prime suspects of the gang is forty-Five-year old Inchikkattu Alungal Radhamani, supervisor of the child home. She works as a Woman cell organizer of VHP. She has been arrested by police with two others on child abuse charges. The others are Mudikuzhikattu Parameswaran Thampi (45 Yrs), Karuppupalam Attoram Sharavanan Muniyandi (23 Yrs). Police is also seeking another member of the gang, Satheesh from Karappupaalam.
The current cases against the officials are based on the allegations of child abuse against an eight year old tribal girl and a 13 year old student. Both of them were hospitalised in Kanjirapally Taluk Hospital for medical enquiry and one of them are still on treatment. One of the class teacher said that the eight year old child was distressed and the questioning session with her lead to the shocking scale of abuses practiced in the institution. The police will also enquire the sex abuse allegations against the tutors. The child home officials also faces allegations of poured boiling liquid over some child's hands.
The child home started one year back and run by "Periyar Sevasamithi" is also alleged to be a transit point of sex trade during night. The police extended their enquiry against the sex allegations and the visitor log of the child home is under the scrutiny. It houses 5 girls and 6 boys and most of them are from the tribal colony of Vallakadvu Vanchi Vayal. The institution was registered under charitable act and established in 2006. The role of Ekal Vidyalaya of VHP is also suspected in the running of the child home. Torture of a Eight -year-old Tribal girl uncovers social service failures of Hindutva's caste based charity funds.
Hindutva's child protection services faces severe criticism in Kerala for torturing tribals in a case that has alarming echoes of caste system like of Nithari Killings. Organ trafficking or sexual abuse accounted for the disappearance of 38 children from Nithari village near Noida, 25km from Delhi, in Uttar Pradesh. Remains of 17 of them were found at the beginning of the year. The victims of Nithari killings came from poor or Dalit families, often from other states or belonging to religious minorities. The parents of the children who went missing say the children of rich or high caste families living in the surroundings had not lost their children. Even if they had gone missing, they were restored to their parents safe and sound, thanks to the help of the police and the authorities!
Human rights activists beleive that the abuse allegations against the child home officials and funders could not be attributed to 'professional errors' or 'poor practice', but said there should be greater focus on 'caste relation ships' as majority of the students are from tribals while the funding comes from upper castes.
A police team lead by Mr. R. Jayashankar, Circle Inspector of Kumali and Mr. G.D. Vijayakumar, Sub Inspector is enquiring the case.
Due to personal conflicts with RSS leaders, Dr Puthezhath Ramachandran has resigned from the post of central vice-president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. In a statement released on Saturday, 31st Dec 2005 , he said he was disappointed with the manner in which the VHP functioned.
``The RSS is restricting the growth of the VHP. An RSS leader uses muscle power to achieve his purpose. I have been a victim. The RSS leaders told me I can quit the Sangh if I do not get along with this leader. A few people closed down by force the office I run at Pambanar in Idukki for community work. I have been denied justice and, hence, I am putting in my papers,'' he said.
Dr. Puthezhath Ramachandran still remains an ardent admirer of Hindutva causes. A 2004 report by the National Human Rights Commission said that 45,000 children go missing every year in India. They are rarely traced – because the police make no effort to find them.