The majority of the nine street children who were kept at the juvenile correction centre in Tongi following their “rescue” from a flat in Dhaka on Saturday have been identified by their families, an official of the centre said yesterday.
Their relatives wanted to take them home but the centre authorities requested them to follow the legal procedure through court, he added.
The official, who wished anonymity because he is not authorised to make such comments, added that the children were sheltered at the correction centre, not kept like accused or convicted children.
Police raided a flat in the capital's Rampura and claimed to have rescued 10 children, aged between nine and 14, on Saturday.
Four staffers of a non-government organisation (NGO), which had kept the children, were arrested on the charge that they were involved in human trafficking.
Nine children were sent to the centre the next day while the other, Mobarak, was handed over to his family.
A couple of children said they fled home following torture by their step mothers. Some said they were beaten by their parents, while some others came to Dhaka just to visit the city and did not return home.
They used to collect waste on city streets as some of them would spend night at Kamalapur Railway Station before the NGO, Adamya Bangladesh, took them to a shelter home at least six months earlier, the children told The Daily Star on Saturday.
Mobarak's uncle Monir, who filed the case with Rampura police against the NGO staff, said his nephew was in good health and would be enrolled at a school soon.
Although the NGO staffers were accused of human trafficking, the children said they had no complaints against the “captors” as they were treated well and no one ever tortured them.
Meanwhile, after a two-day remand the four will be produced before a Dhaka court today, said Sub-inspector Jiarat Hossain of Rampura Police Station, who is investigating the case. He added they were scrutinising information about the NGO. Adamya Bangladesh was launched in 2013 for street children, said its staff Washifa Zannat. She also denied the charge of human trafficking.