Srinagar, Dec 1: Authorities have lodged a FIR over alleged illegal adoption and "sale" of children orphaned by COVID-19 in Kashmir.
As per an 'India Today' investigative report, two Kashmiri men running NGOs have surfaced in an alleged racket "selling" children of COVID-19 victims.
While one offered the children for adoption against Rs 75,000, the second accused running an NGO in south Kashmir's Pampore demanded as much as Rs 10 lakh in return of newborn children of COVID victims for adoption, the India Today report said.
In response to the serious allegations, Mission Director ICPS has directed the concerned authorities and FIR has been lodged at Police Station Pampore against the alleged culprits.
Besides, Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Sheetal Nanda has taken up the issue with IGP, Kashmir, in order to ensure immediate action in the matter and initiate legal course of action under relevant laws, an official handout said.
In addition, Mission Director, ICPS J&K, Shabnam Kamili, has issued instant orders to Child Welfare Committees "to meet COVID orphans personally which have already been identified by the department and uploaded on different online portals of Government of India and submit a report to the Directorate of ICPS within a day’s time".
"Further, fact finding committees were also constituted for Jammu and Kashmir divisions in order to ascertain the number of orphans/COVID orphans and their well-being in all the districts of J&K, " added the statement.