Police “rescued” 10 children from a flat in the city’s Banashree area yesterday and arrested four people.
The arrestees are Arifur Rahman, 24, Hasibul Hasan Sabuj, 19, Zakia Sultana, 22, and Feroz Alam Khan Shuvo, 21.
The children are between nine and 14 years of age, Asaduzzaman, inspector (investigation) of Rampura Police Station, told The Daily Star.
He said the children were rescued from the top floor of a six-storey building at Block-C on Road 10 around 1:00pm.
Rampura police said the arrestees claimed that they were officials of an NGO “Adamya Bangladesh” which gives shelter to street children in the house.
This correspondent talked with all the rescued boys. They said they had been staying at the house for at least six months.
The boys claimed that they were brought here with the promise of food, accommodation and education. They said they had no complaints against the “captors”. They were treated well and no one ever tortured them.
Meanwhile, Monir, uncle of a rescued boy, Mobarak, 14, filed a case under the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act 2012 with Rampura Police Station accusing four people.
Monir told The Daily Star that his nephew was admitted to a residential madrasa at Khilgaon Tilpapara from where he fled around six months ago.
He said he had filed a general diary with Khilgaon Police Station over Mobarak’s disappearance the following day.
Yesterday, the madrasa authorities informed him that a woman claimed she knew the whereabouts of Mobarak, Monir said, adding that she worked at the house where the children were kept.
Following the information, Monir along with 15 to 20 locals went to the house. They found Mobarak there and informed the police.
Rampura police raided the house and rescued the children.
Mobarak said two persons, including arrested Zakia, took him to the house from Kamalapur Railway Station area around six months back.
He claimed that he was given food regularly but was not allowed to go outside the house.
Police said they were checking the documents provided by the arrestees to determine whether they were the officials of the NGO.
The NGO authorities could not be reached over the phone for comments despite repeated attempts.
The children would be produced before a court today, police said.
Khadiza Begum, caretaker of the house, said the NGO had been paying Tk 17,000 as rent for the last 10 months.
Source: The Daily Star