Children's Home Director, aide arrested on child abuse charge

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 July 2004, 14:46 GMT]
The administration of ''Anpu Illam,'' a leading institution providing shelter for children, majority of them victims of war in the Trincomalee district, has been handed over to the North East Provincial Department of Probation and Child Care on the orders of Trincomalee Magistrate and Additional Judge Mr.S.Thiagendran following complaints of child abuse and other irregularities, legal sources said. The Director and one of his aides have been arrested on charges of child abuse, according to the same legal sources.

Mr.Sangarapillai Suntharalingam who has been running the home for about two decades surrendered to the Trincomalee Police Friday night following the arrest order issued by the Trincomalee Judge.

The Trincomalee Police had earlier arrested Ms Komaladevi , a woman aide of Mr.Suntheralingam, on the court order. The Judge ordered her fourteen days' remand, legal sources said.

Mr.Daya Samaraweera, Superintendent of Police, Trincomalee Saturday visited ''Anpu Illam'' accompanied by Mr.P.Ravichandran, Headquarters Probation Officer of North East Department of Probation and Childcare, Mr.V.Kandasamy, Trincomalee District Probation and Childcare Officer, Mr.S.Sakthinayagam, Child Rights Promotion Officer and the Grama Sevaka Officer (Village level officer) of the area Ms L.H.Nandipala and conducted inquiries into the administration of the home, sources said.

Mr.Daya Samaraweera told press persons later that the Trincomalee Judge ordered the Police to conduct an investigation into the matter following an article appeared in a Tamil daily ''Virakesari'' recently alleging irregularities and child abuse in children's homes in the district. ''Thereafter with the assistance of the Department of Probation andChildcare the Women and Child Bureau of the Trincomalee Police under his direction launched an investigation into the alleged mismanagement of the Home and other allegations such as child abuse,'' said Mr.Daya Perera.

Later on a report filed by the Trincomalee Police, the Judge made the order for the arrest of Mr. Suntharalingam and Ms Komalathevi.

In addition, the Judge made another order that inmates of the home should be looked after by the Department of Probation and Childcare, Police said. Mr. Suntharalingam would be produced before the Trincomalee Judge later Saturday after recording his statement, Police said.

 

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