Illegal Jaipur shelter owner accused of abusing 2 girls

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TWO of the 51 children rescued from two illegal shelter homes in Jaipur earlier this month have accused its owner, a pastor named Jacob John, of sexually abusing them.

A 17-year-old Naga girl has alleged that she was repeatedly raped over the years at Grace Home in Mansarovar, while another girl rescued last Sunday from John's house alleged she was molested but had escaped rape.

The girls revealed the alleged abuse during counseling sessions over the last one week. Their statements will be recorded in court on Saturday after which police will file a fresh chargesheet against John. The pastor is in judicial custody and is accused of illegal detention and trafficking among others.

The 27 girls and 24 boys, mostly tribals from the Northeast, were rescued after raids by the Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Child Welfare Committee and Jaipur Police. They were found to be living in cramped rooms and rotting vegetables and grocery was recovered from the homes.

The two homes were found to be illegal and there are no records of the transactions of the homes or even the inmates. The owner had allegedly assured the families, mostly poor tribals, that their children will be given free education and accommodation.

"Medical tests of all the children have been done and gynaecological tests have been done for two girls who have alleged rape and molestation," Lata Singh, state coordinator of FXB India Suraksha, who informed the Child Rights Commission about the homes, said.

Biju George Joseph, Jaipur's acting police chief, said the pastor had claimed the children had been sent to the homes by their parents.

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