NHRC seeks answers for missing children
As thousands of children go missing from the national capital, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday asked the Centre and the Delhi government to file separate reports on the issue. Satya Prakash reports.delhi Updated: Mar 23, 2011 01:11 IST
As thousands of children go missing from the national capital, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday asked the Centre and the Delhi government to file separate reports on the issue.
Taking cognisance of media reports that 17,305 children allegedly went missing in Delhi between 2008 and 2010 and 2,366 of them were yet to be traced, the NHRC said: "the contents of media reports, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights of children and negligence on the part of the State to provide protection to them."
The media reports were based on information given by the minister of state for home affairs Guru Das Kamath in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha and also talked of involvement of organised gangs of criminals in the matter.
The commission issued notices to ministry of home affairs secretary GK Pillai and Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta asking them to file "detailed reports" in the matter within four weeks.
"According to reports, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had unearthed a nexus of organised crime with identification of over 800 gangs engaged in child trafficking," the NHRC said.
Concerned over the rising number of cases of children going missing in the Capital, Delhi high court has already asked the Delhi Police commissioner to constitute a task force to probe whether a gang is involved in trafficking children.
Taking cognisance of media reports on Delhi's missing children, a bench headed by chief justice Dipak Misra had on March 16 asked school authorities not to strike off names of missing students without approval of the Department of Education.
Deputy commissioners of police of the areas concerned will have to personally oversee investigation if a child aged between 3 and 8 is reported missing since the last six months and trafficking was suspected, the High Court had said, adding, "If a missing child is not rescued or found for a period of six months, the case should be handed over to the anti-kidnapping cell for effective investigation."
The CBI had in 2006 told the Delhi high court that there were 815 gangs comprising 4,289 members involved in the kidnapping of children for prostitution, begging and ransom in India.
Over 60,000 children were reported missing in India in 2009, the NHRC noted.