The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Monday handed over seven Christian children to their parents, a week after activists of the Hindu Dharm Jagran Manch made them deboard a train at the Indore railway station, The Indian Express reported.
The children were sent to a shelter soon after they were taken off the train. Their parents had filed a habeas corpus petition saying they feared for the children’s safety as they did not know where they were.
On October 23, the seven children had left for Mumbai for a Bible-reading session with one Anita Joseph and her 19-year-old old daughter. They were about to board the Avantika Express to Mumbai when some activists reached the station and accused Joseph and another man, Amrit Kumar Matera, of taking them forcibly to Mumbai. The activists claimed Joseph and Matera were going to take the children to Kerala from there and convert them, the report said.
The activists filed a complaint, and the Government Railway Police booked Joseph and Matera for allegedly kidnapping the children.
The parents, however, told the court on Monday that their children were going to Mumbai with their permission. They said the police had refused to release the children despite their requests.
The bench of Justice SC Sharma and Justice Alok Verma then asked the prosecution to produce the children in court and ordered their release. “It also told the home secretary and the officer in charge of the Indore Government Railway Police station to file a report,” The Indian Express quoted advocate KP Gangore, who appeared for the parents, as saying.