Op­er­a­tion Smile 1: City cops lauded for best per­for­mance in state

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CBD BE­LA­PUR: The Navi Mum­bai po­lice has added yet an­other feather to its cap. The an­ti­hu­man traf­fick­ing cell of Navi Mum­bai po­lice com­mis­sion­er­ate as topped in the state for its per­for­mance dur­ing the ‘Op­er­a­tion Smile’ ini­tia­tive un­der­taken by it last year.

The month-long cen­tral gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive in­volves find­ing miss­ing chil­dren and hand­ing over their cus­tody to their par­ents and guardians. It was con­ducted from July 1 to July 31, 2015.

The cell will be fe­lic­i­tated with the top award on Thurs­day at a spe­cial pro­gramme by chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fadnavis, who is also the state’s home min­is­ter.

There has been a rise in the num­ber of chil­dren be­low 18 years of age, who have gone miss­ing. Alarmed by this, the gov­ern­ment con­ducted the drive last year.

The Navi Mum­bai unit’s per­for­mance dur­ing the drive was the best dur­ing this pe­riod. A to­tal of 46 chil­dren were res­cued and handed over to their par­ents dur­ing the month. Th­ese in­cluded 18 boys and 28 girls.

Be­tween 2010 and 2015, 168 chil­dren be­low 18 years have been re­ported miss­ing in Navi Mum­bai.

The high­light of the res­cue oper­a­tions was the res­cue of girls forced into pros­ti­tu­tion in the in­fa­mous Kash­miri Bazaar of Agra. Twenty-one girls had been re­cused, in­clud­ing 5 girls from Ma­ha­trash­tra, 4 of who were handed over to their par­ents af­ter they were found.

Said deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice (crime) Dilip Sawant, “I con­grat­u­late the cell for its ex­cel­lent work.”

He added, “The team looks for miss­ing chil­dren as if their own are miss­ing.”

Said Push­palata Dighe, who heads the cell, “This suc­cess is of our en­tire team. The moist eyes of the par­ents that we see when we hand them their miss­ing chil­dren gets us emo­tional too. That is the real suc­cess and sat­is­fac­tion that we get.”

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