Bethel Gospel church where children were molested, demolished after NCPCR intervenes

On Friday, December 2, the Pentecostal Bethel Gospel church at Seawood, from where a pastor was arrested over allegations of molesting children was demolished by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC).

The church was razed by bulldozers on the recommendation of the National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). The NCPCR intervened after receiving multiple complaints of sexual abuse in the church.

Taking to Twitter the NCPCR chairman Priyank Kanoongo informed about the action taken against the illegal church and wrote, “45 children have been rescued from the illegal children’s home run by Bethel Gospel Church in Navi Mumbai which was demolished by bulldozers based on the recommendations made by @NCPCR_ after complaints of sexual abuse of children. thank you @Dev_Fadnavis ji.”

The NCPCR took cognizance of the case after three children living in the children’s home filed a complaint against Pastor Rajkumar Yesudasan, alleging sexual abuse. According to information provided to the NCPCR, one of the minor girls was also forced to undergo an abortion.

Notably, in August District Child Protection Officer Thane raided the church and rescued 45 children. The rescued children were moved to various shelters in Thane and the 55-year-old pastor was arrested by the NRI Coastal Police.

After complaints to the state government went unanswered, NCPCR Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo and another official paid a visit to the children’s home on October 8. During the visit, the team met with the Investigating Officer, the District Child Protection Officer, and a shelter resident.

The NCPCR team during its investigation discovered that the minor children living in the church-run shelter home had been brought to the Navi Mumbai church by a man named Vinod, who had come from Rajasthan, Odisha, and other states.

It is pertinent to note here that when the alleged crime was revealed, questions were raised about the church’s legality. If the church was found to be illegal, the police had asked the NMMC to take appropriate action.

Chitra Wagh, the state president of the BJP’s Mahila Morcha had a meeting with the municipal commissioner Rajesh Narvekar and demanded the demolition of the church claiming that she has obtained information that the church is illegal.

Source: OpIndia

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