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