Six held for threatening homeless people

In a drive against beggars, the volunteers jointly with anti-human trafficking unit of police picked up around 130 people from different areas and sheltered them in a home owned by Jubin Baby (44) in Thondamuthur.
The people rescued from the shelter home in Coimbatore on Monday
The people rescued from the shelter home in Coimbatore on Monday

COIMBATORE: Six persons from various NGOs were arrested in Coimbatore on Monday on charges of tonsuring, assaulting and threatening homeless people after detaining them in their home for destitute people.

In a drive against beggars, the volunteers jointly with anti-human trafficking unit of police picked up around 130 people from different areas and sheltered them in a home owned by Jubin Baby (44) in Thondamuthur.

They all were tonsured, dressed up in blue and those who disobeyed were beaten with pipes. The detainees resorted to protests and were joined by villagers and members of some political parties demanding the arrest of the NGO members over allegations of human rights violations.

After inquiries, Thondamuthur police arrested Jubin Baby along with Symond Senthil Kumar (44) from PN Pudur, George (54) from Sathyamangalam, Selvin (49) from Chennai, Balachandran (36) from Dharmapuri and Arun (36), from Villupuram, all running NGOs in various districts. They were booked on charges including criminal intimidation, illegal detention and assault.

The police rescued 130 people from the home, of which only 52 were suffering from psychological issues. They alone were sheltered in government licensed homes, while others were let free. One among them employed as a construction worker, said.

“I used to sleep on the pavement of Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) during night and go for work during the day. But, they forced me into a van, brought me to the home and tonsured. Many among us, who opposed, were beaten up.”

A senior police official however said that they assisted the NGO volunteers in rescue of only mentally challenged persons wandering around on the streets and claimed ignorance of others.

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