Pastor Antony Thomas has been arrested and booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for sexually harassing and torturing 19 children in an unregistered orphanage in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir.
J&K Police and the civil administration conducted a raid after some children complained that they were being ‘sexually harassed and tortured’ at the facility run by the Pastor who is originally from Kerala.
Pastor Thomas, however, has denied all charges of any wrongdoing at the centre. The local Court in the state has sent the pastor to 7-days police remand.
The children, aged 5 to 16, have been shifted to government-run Bal Ashram and Nari Neketan, the officials said, adding they belong to different parts of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu.
Pastor Thomas failed to produce any document for running the centre during the raid, police official said, adding the motive behind operating the facility is under investigation.