The missing minor children of a couple, who had been jailed for five years for a crime they did not commit, have finally been traced to separate children’s homes in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad and Kanpur.
The couple, Narendra Singh (40) and his wife Najma (30), were unable to locate their son Ajeet and daughter Anju, who were five and three-years-old at the time of their arrest in September 2015.
According to sources, both the children were shifted to an Agra child protection home in October 2019 after their grandfather Bhagwan Das was unable to take care of them due to poor financial condition.
The duo had been handed over to their grandparents immediately after the couple’s arrest.
Agra Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Chairman Gopal Sharma said, “Both the children were living in separate children’s homes. They were sent to separate facilities after age verification revealed they were above 10 years.”
While Ajeet was found living at the state children’s home for boys in Firozabad, Anju was traced to the state children’s home for girls in Kanpur.
Meanwhile, the couple’s lawyer Vansho Baboo disputed Sharma’s claims and said the children were wrongfully removed from the child protection home despite their age.
He said the couple’s priority now was to reunite with the children at the earliest and they would meet the CWC officials on Monday to complete the formalities.
Meanwhile, Agra District Magistrate, Prabhu N. Singh, said the district Probationary Official is in touch with them and would provide all assistance to bring the children back to Agra.
The police had arrested the couple — Narendra Singh and his wife Najma — from Bah in Agra in 2015, following the murder of a five-year-old boy.
In its order to release the couple, the Additional District and Session Courts came down heavily on the police.
“It is unfortunate that the innocent couple has spent five years behind bars and the main accused is still free,” the court said and directed the Senior Superintendent Of Police (SSP) to take action against the Investigation Officer (IO) for his negligence.
The court then recommended that the case be reinvestigated on the basis of available evidence to nab the real culprit.
“The then Sub-Inspector, Chidanand Singh, who was working with the Investigation Officer, admitted in court that he did not even try to find out against whom the FIR was registered.”
Narendra Singh, the father of the children and who earlier worked as a teacher, said, “What was our children’s fault? They had to live like orphans. My son Ajeet and daughter Anju were so small when police arrested us for alleged murder.”