A youth takes a look at a poster issued by CBI at Kokar Industrial Area in Ranchi on Monday. (Hardeep Singh)
Ranchi, Sept. 24: The Supreme Court today directed the Jharkhand government to submit a status report on the missing persons, including children, in the state.
The Apex court was hearing a special leave petition filed by the CBI challenging a Jharkhand High Court order issued on October 18 last year, which directed the agency to probe and trace the missing children in the state.
The CBI had challenged the high court order and knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court stating that it should not be burdened with cases that the state had failed to crack and should be entrusted with the investigation only in “rare” and “exceptional” circumstances.
The high court had passed the order after a plea by one Susanna Kispotta, who had sought a probe to trace two of her missing nephews from Samlong, Numkum.
Kispotta’s two nephews, aged four and eight respectively, had gone missing in 2010. An FIR in this regard had been lodged with Namkum police on September 28, 2010.
The court had after admitting the plea expanded its ambit ordered CBI probe to probe all the cases of missing children in the state.
The state had told the high court that as many as 335 people, including 153 females, have been reported to be missing from Jharkhand between 2008-2011.
The figure, however, did not take into consideration the cases, which were not registered at all before any police stations.
The Supreme Court, while hearing the case on August 24, had disagreed with the CBI and termed the issues concerning missing children as a “very serious matter”.
It had also said that courts in this country were bound to hand over the probe of some unsolved cases to the CBI due to the magnitude of the problem.
According to CBI sources, the Apex Court today directed the agency to go ahead with the probe into the Namkum missing case and asked the state government to furnish the status report of probe into other missing cases.
The CBI is already handling a separate case of three missing boys from Gumla that had been filed by one Baliram Paswan, at the directive of Jharkhand High Court.
Earlier on August 16, the Supreme Court had also issued a notice to the Centre and all the state governments on a PIL asking them to trace around 55,000 missing children in the country.
Sources said that the CBI has deployed eight officers, divided into four teams of two each, for tracing down the missing children in Jharkhand.
They also claimed that the CBI was working on a murder angle in the Gumla case and had reportedly managed to trace some bones that they believe are those of the missing children.
A sample sent to FSL Hyderabad certified that the materials sent to them were indeed remains of a bone.
The bureau will now conduct a DNA test to match them with that of their parents.
This apart, the CBI has also recently come out with a poster announcing rewards for anyone who helped them in information about the two missing boys.
State Inspector General (CID) Anurag Gupta said the government had on its part started a special awareness drive.
“We have begun sensitising police officers. A Missing Persons Bureau has been set up in every district. Besides, we have also activated a Childline (1098) to keep a tab on issues affecting children,” he told The Telegraph.