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Free study kids ‘rescued’

Malda, Dec. 5: The GRP rescued 10 children from an express train at Malda station last night but was forced to release the suspected trafficker accompanying them after the parents of the minor boys refused to complain.

Mohammed Razim, hailing from Purnea, had claimed that he was taking the children to a madrasa in Kerala for free Arabic studies. All the boys, aged between five and 10 years, are from Purnea and Chhapra districts in Bihar.

Razim had also told police that the parents of the boys had consented to let them go with him.

But the police refused to buy his story since he failed to produce any documents in support of his claims.

Of the 10 boys, six had boarded the Teesta Torsha Express from Aluabari in North Dinajpur while the rest caught the Sealdah-bound train at Dalkhola.

The passengers of the train had become suspicious on seeing 10 children huddled in a compartment and informed the GRP at Malda station over their cellphones.

When the train reached Malda around 9pm yesterday, the GRP surrounded the compartment and rescued the boys. Imran Sheikh, one of the boys, said he was from Chhapra district. He has four brothers and one sister and his father Intiaz Sheikh was a day labourer.

The 10-year boy said a maulavi of his village was sending him to a madrasa in Kerala. Most of the boys told the police that they were going there to study.

The inspector-in-charge of the GRP, Prabir Das, had said last night that the parents of the children would be called to crosscheck if they were really sending them to Kerala for studies.

“We have collected the address of each boy and their parents would be sent informed. We shall hand them over to their parents once they come to us. The boys are too young to speak clearly,” Das had said.

Today, all the boys who had spent the night in GRP custody at Malda station, were handed over to their parents, who refused to file any complaints against Razim. He was released.

The inspector said his force had been informed about the children by the passengers.

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