Observing the increase in number of missing persons from Punjab, the Punjab and Haryana high court has issued directions to the state government to inform total number of missing persons in 2010 and how many have been recovered.
The division bench comprising of chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and justice KS Ahluwalia issued the directions on Tuesday during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation(PIL) filed by an NGO World Human Rights Protection Council.
The bench also directed to ascertain the reasons during the interrogation from persons who have been recovered as to how did they went missing. The state has been directed to file its reply before May 17.
During the earlier hearing of the case on January 18, additional deputy commissioner Police-I of Ludhiana, Harsh Bansal had informed the court that during the year 2010 a total number of 387 persons went missing from Ludhiana. Out of the missing persons 184 were males, 82 females and 121 children, he stated. He further intimated that only 49 persons(17 males, 7 females and 25 children) were located and traced till now.
The petitioner NGO had sought directions to the state government to make all out efforts to trace the missing persons in Punjab and register FIRs of missing persons. It was also requested that involvement of gangs in using kidnapped/missing children for begging might also be probed.
Another PIL filed by NGO Lawyers for Human Rights International seeking directions to the authorities to formulate special cells at tehsil/district and state levels to deal only with offences relating of missing people has also been clubbed with the ongoing case. The petitioner had brought to the notice of the court that as per the news reports it had come to know that in the last 10 years, 781 girls went missing from Punjab. It was also submitted that in the special police cells, specially trained police officials should be posted for proper investigation of the cases of missing persons especially females and children, who are more vulnerable to crimes.