Cops yet to trace 38 children who went missing last year
Out of 314 children, who went missing from the city last year, 276 were found
NAVI MUMBAI: The city police are clueless around 38 children who went missing from the city in 2015.
According to the sources from the Navi Mumbai crime branch, as many as 314 children went missing from the city last year.
The police traced 276 children. The parents of the remaining 38 kids are still waiting for good news from the police.
In 2014, a total of 469 children went missing from the satellite city, of which, 406 were traced either by the police or their parents.
“The issue of missing children in Navi Mumbai has been a serious one. Last year, two children from the city were kidnapped and murdered either by their relatives or family friends. The protection of children has been a huge challenge for everyone,” said Mahesh Shinde, 41, an activist from Sanpada.
“Girls from various places are taken to the bigger cities and pushed into flesh trade. The possibility cannot be ruled out that the teenage girls who go missing from the city and being forced into prostitution at some other places,” he added.
Hemant Sharma, 45, social legal head of Sahayak NGO cited a case in which children were kidnapped for childless couple.
“In January last year, the Mumbai crime branch rescued two girls from Uran who had been kidnapped from Vashi and Nerul in 2013 by three people at the behest of a couple who did not have any kids. The accused had got Rs2 lakh for kidnapping the girls and they were arrested,” Sharma said.
“We have come across several cases in which kids were kidnapped and sent to other cities to work as domestic help. The police should try to find out if missing children are falling prey to some begging rackets,” he added.
The police, however, said that they are taking every possible step to trace as many missing children as possible.
“We are taking different initiatives for tracing the missing kids. Under Operation Smile 1 in June last year, we rescued around 46 children (18 boys and 28 girls) from different places of the state. Likewise under Operation Smile 2 in January, we rescued 39 children (12 boys and 39 girls),” said Dilip Sawant, deputy commissioner of police.
He said that the police would step up efforts so that parents get back the missing children.
“Our officials from antihuman trafficking cell are also regularly visiting the orphanages, children homes and ashrams where they may find clues of missing children,” he added.
Asked about the begging rackets in the city, another senior officer said, “We are investigating the matter and if evidences are found, we will take strict action against the culprits.”