Rescued kids go missing

Confusion prevails over 31 child victims of "trafficking" from Assam with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights today saying that the Child Welfare Committee in New Delhi's Mayur Vihar could not provide proper information about their whereabouts.

By SUMIR KARMAKAR in Guwahati
  • Published 30.09.15
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Guwahati, Sept. 29: Confusion prevails over 31 child victims of "trafficking" from Assam with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights today saying that the Child Welfare Committee in New Delhi's Mayur Vihar could not provide proper information about their whereabouts.

Childline India had informed the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights that 31 girls, aged between 10 and 12 years, had been rescued by the railway police at New Delhi railway station at 7.40pm on June 11.

They were then produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Mayur Vihar, in accordance with the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000. Twenty girls were taken to a shelter home at Halwad in Gujarat by Delhi police under the supervision of CWC while 11 were taken to Patiala in Punjab, an action that was immediately questioned by the Assam State Commission.

The commission, in a letter to the CWC in June, had asked why it had not informed the authorities in Assam before allowing the children to be taken to Gujarat and Punjab.

Raman Kumar Gaur, registrar of the National Commission, in a letter to the state commission today, sought a detailed report about the circumstances under which the girls were taken out of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Bongaigaon and Goalpara districts by Seva Bharti, a welfare organisation associated with a religious group.

"The CWC has denied having any information from Delhi police regarding the rescued children. It, however, said its chairperson had met 20 children in Gujarat. You are, therefore, requested to send a detailed report giving full facts of the case to the commission," the letter said.

"We are now confused about where the children are. We have written to the Assam social welfare department and the CID to take steps to bring them back to the state," said state commission chairperson Runumi Gogoi.

The Telegraph had today reported how two incidents of children being "trafficked" from Assam by religious charity organisations in February and June this year had brought them under the scanner of police, child rights bodies and NGOs. The state commission had yesterday said an organisation had even paid Rs 5,000 to the parents of a girl child in Kokrajhar. The commission had submitted a report to chief minister Tarun Gogoi about the "disturbing" incidents and had termed them as "indirect form of child trafficking".

Assam DGP Khagen Sarma, asked about the incidents, confirmed that children were "trafficked" for religious indoctrination. "Missing children is a major issue in our state and we have come across reports about children being taken out for religious indoctrination. Some of them are as young as 10 to 15 years."