The police on Saturday have rescued 20 children from a squalid property after receiving a tip-off that unlawful activities were being carried out in the hostel located near a locality called Parliament.
Following the raid, inmates aged between 8 and 12 years old were shifted from the hostel located in Kathua to Bal Ashram and Nari Niketan here.
The police have arrested the owner of the hostel for allegedly abusing the teenagers residing there. Medical reports of the children are awaited to ascertain if they were sexually abused or not.
Speaking to media, Deputy Commissioner Rohit Khajuria said, "We got the information around 3 pm that some elements are doing some wrong activity near the Parliament area of Kathua. So after studying the whole issue, a team comprised of two tehsildars, one labour officer and policemen were sent to the location. After conducting interviews with the kids, our team raided the place, rescued the children and arrested the owner of the hostel."
"When our team enquired about the registration of the hostel, the man first said that he is running the accommodation after tying up with Pathankot Church. After his statement, the team called the Pathankot church authority, who denied any such agreement," Khajuria said.
An FIR has been filed against the owner of the hostel, who is currently under police custody.