Four of the five children who had been sold by their parents to two shepherds for a year in Khargone district have been handed over to their families after district level child welfare committee (CWC) got the background of the families investigated.
The families and children were also counselled and their statements were recorded.
The fifth child who is from Burhanpur district is still at the shelter home in Khargone. Sources close to CWC Khargone told HT that, according to the norms, the CWC has to ensure that families are in a position to take care of the children.
After the families were counselled and questioned, the CWC decided to hand over four children -Amit, Sumit, Mohit and Ramesh -to their families while Dheeraj will be sent to the authorities from his home district.
From there the CWC will look into the case and decide whether Dheeraj should be put in a shelter home or handed over to his parents, confirmed Sunil Kumar Solanki, district programme officer of the women and child development department.
"I have told my officials to visit the families of four children from time to time to see whether they are being looked after properly or not," Solanki said.
All five children were brought to Khargone and sent to shelter home on the night of April 16.
Sumit,12, and Amit, 11, who are siblings, were sold by their parents to shepherd Bhura for Rs 35,000 eight months ago while Mohit, 15, who also hails from the same village in Khargone, was sold by his parents for Rs 12,000 to Bhura nearly a month ago.
Sumit was rescued by the police last Friday while Amit and Mohit had escaped earlier and ran 47 km along the rail track from Seoni-Malwa in Hoshangabad district to Harda, where finally officials found them and brought them to their home district Khargone.
There they told police on Sunday that two children - Ramesh and Dheeraj - were still with a shepherd Hemla, accomplice of Bhura.
Following the input, the police rescued two children at Timarni in Harda district from the clutches of Hemla on the wee hours of Monday.
Ramesh, 11, and Dheeraj, 12, told the police they had been sold by their parents to Hemla for R18,000 for a year and had been with him for last seven months.
(Names of all minors have been changed)