A shocking report of an illegal mercy home in Ambala forcibly converting orphan kids into Christianity has surfaced. 25 children were rescued when a joint team of consisting District Programme Officer, Child Welfare Committee, District Child Protection Officer, Police and officials from the district administration raided a mercy home at Kalareheri village in Ambala in Haryana.
According to the reports, the irregularities by the mercy home was in contravention of the Juvenile Justice Act for operating a shelter home. DPO Baljeet Kaur said, “The home was being operated illegally. The children have been rescued and sent to safer homes.” She also claimed that the girls and boys were kept together and an investigation into the mercy home operations revealed gross conversion attempts into Christianity by the operators. Police authorities also asserted that some children’s parents are alive and yet they are kept here in the orphan house.
“A team was formed by the Deputy Commissioner under the leadership of ADC and sufficient time was given to the home to fulfil conditions, but they failed. Therefore, it was not safe and appropriate to keep the children at an unregistered home,” she said. She also said that the children were brainwashed to convert their religion into Christianity.
The names of the children were reportedly prefixed with ‘Masih’. 12 girls and 13 boys aged between 3 and 17 were rescued and brought to the Civil Hospital, Ambala Cantonment for a medical checkup. After the checkup, the children were sent to shelter homes in Panchkula and Yamunanagar.
The Chairperson, Gurdev Singh, CWC, said: “The children will be administered counselling and necessary action would be taken accordingly.”
The police team, which went on the spot for action were also accused of flouting the basic norms. To rescue the children from mercy home, the police went in with their regular uniforms, thereby frightening the kids. Moreover, the children were brought in a police van like prisoners by the police team. This caused the children to panic and they began to cry loudly. Many inconsolable children did not want to leave home and were insistent on staying there.
Phillip Masih, the president of the mercy home denied allegations of conversions saying that he is being targeted because of his religion. He also said that he has devoted his entire life for the welfare of orphan children and have never indulged in forceful conversions.
This same shelter home was raided by a National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) team in 2014 also. At that time it was found that the 50 children were kept in a house meant for 15-20 children. Phillip and his wife Narinder Kaur Phillip had said that NCPCR team that despite their refusals, district administration kept sending children to them, who were either rescued by police or abandoned by parents.