Nine persons were booked for under the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act on Tuesday by Ratlam Government Railway Police while they were taking 60 tribal children to Nagpur. The GRP said the accused, including two women, were detained at Ratlam railway station by the Railway Protection Force after they reportedly received complaints about suspicious movement of the tribal children. The rescued children have been sent to shelter homes in Ratlam and Jaora.
GRP Police Station in-charge, Abhishek Gautam, told The Indian Express that police teams had been sent to Nagpur and Jhabua for verification after the accused claimed that the children were being taken to attend a summer camp.
“The parents were under the impression that their children were going to attend a camp but the actual purpose of the Nagpur visit was to read the Bible. There was a mismatch in the statements given by the accused,” GRP SP Krishnaveni Desavatu said on Tuesday. Till late on Monday, the GRP had said there was no evidence to back the allegation of forced religious conversion.
This comes after arrest of two persons from Indore on similar charges for taking 11 children to Nagpur. In all, 11 persons have been taken into custody and 71 tribal children rescued from Ratlam and Indore so far.