When questioned, the child promptly answered that he was 18 years old.

Minor boy rescued from Kerala hotel after officials found his age proof forgedImage for representation
news Law Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 20:32

Malappuram Childline officials rescued a boy under 15 years of age from a hotel in Ponnani, where he had been reportedly working as a cook for the last six months. 

The officials had carried out an inspection of Hotel Ojin on Wednesday, following a tip-off that a minor was employed at the hotel. 

“When we went there and questioned the boy, he promptly replied that he was 18 years old. But he did not in any way look older than 15,” said Childline coordinator PT Shihab, while speaking to The News Minute.

The boy, a native of Assam, was brought to Kerala by an agent six months ago. The boy furnished an identity proof that claimed he had turned 18. The officials were however unconvinced and forwarded the document for verification. It was found to be forged. 

When prodded further, the boy revealed that Alam -his agent, also an Assam native- had forged the document to get him a job at the hotel. 

"The boy was taken into custody because he had no valid proof of his age. We produced him before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) that sent him to a state-run children's home in Malappuram, until his parents furnish authentic proof of age by Saturday," Shihab said.  

Two other children -under 14 years- who were rescued last month from a couple of hotels in the district had also named Alam during interrogation, he added.

The CWC has forwarded a complaint to the Tirur police station against the hotel owner and Alam, who the officials suspect, is a habitual offender. According to Shihab, the two will be booked under provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act.


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