Eatery owner held for forcing minors to cook dog meat
The three children, aged between five and eight years, were freed from his captivity late on Thursday evening.
The children accused the owner of the restaurant — ‘My Spice Cafe’ located in the officers colony of ill-treating them, brutally assaulting them and forcing them to cook dog meat. The police claimed that the eatery owner was selling dog meat to some foreign nationals who studied in various colleges in the city.
The police also added that the children bore injury marks and their nails had been plucked off by Avinash Kumar, the eatery owner and his son-in-law Mukesh Rajput who was also his business partner.
The children also said the eatery owner subjected them to electric shocks whenever they refused to cook for the Africans living in the area. As many as five street dogs and skeletons of two others had also been recovered from the restaurant.
According to the police, the incident was reported when a neighbour, Praveen Bhati, met them a few days ago and asked why they were in such a situation — crying and wailing. Bhati was shocked to hear their story and immediately informed the police which followed the complaint with a late night raid. The restaurant has been sealed.
“As the district police has launched ‘Operation Muskan’, efforts are being made to rescue children engaged in child labour. After getting tip off, we have rescued the children and have arrested one of the accused. We have registered a case under Sections 323,344,, 370 (2) and 504 of IPC, 3 (2) and 5 of SC/ST Act and 23/26 JJ Act and are investigating the matter,” said an official.
Police have said the second partner-in-crime is absconding. The minors have been sent to a children’s home with the help of a local NGO and efforts are on to trace their parents.
“In our preliminary probe, it has come out that the children are from Jharkhand and were sold to the accused eight months back. It has also found that the accused run another restaurant in Pune and hence we will examine the situation there also,” an official said.