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250 Godda kids in Kerala kidnap plot

Ranchi, June 1: Around half of the 500 children rescued from Kerala recently are from Jharkhand, the state labour commissioner has said.

In Kochi to bring back the children, mostly Muslim girls from Godda, Manish Kumar said today that earlier estimates that there were around 157 children from Jharkhand now seemed conservative.

“The number may cross 250,” he told The Telegraph over telephone from Kochi. “Most of them are girls. All of them were about to be sent to Arab countries for sex, organ trade and such other crimes. Surprisingly, the traffickers managed to get fake ID cards for all of them,” he added.

The labour commissioner said he was aghast at the enormity of the racket. “It’s so big and organisedů Soon, we will expose the modus operandi,” he said, adding that tomorrow an SP (CID) would be reaching Kochi for further investigation.

Kumar said he had requested the railways to arrange for two special coaches in Alleppey Express to bring the children back to Jharkhand.

In Ranchi, former chief minister Arjun Munda referred to the May 25 rescue in Kerala in a letter to Union home minister Rajnath Singh, seeking effective steps to curb human trafficking in backward states like Jharkhand.

He advocated the setting up of a special cell and an interstate networking system under the Union home ministry to crack down on human trafficking.

In another letter to Singh, Munda asked the Centre for Rs 20 lakh in compensation to the next kin of those killed in yesterday’s pre-monsoon rain fury. At least eight persons were killed in various parts of the state, including Dhanbad, Hazaribagh and Bokaro, after trees got uprooted amid lightning strikes.

He urged the Union home minister to ensure that relief measures were carried out and that the affected families were given monetary assistance to meet medical expenses and re-build their damaged homes.