In the biggest ever initiative to trace missing children the Delhi Police on Wednesday unveiled before the Delhi high court a 'standard operating procedure' for dealing with such cases. Significantly, this comes on International Missing Childrens Day observed on May 25 every year.
A bench of chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Sanjiv Khanna accepted Delhi Police's plans and directed its standing counsel Pawan Sharma to ensure that these measures are immediately implemented. There are about a thousand children reported missing at present in the Capital.
A special task force has been formed under the commissioner of police. As per the 'standard operating procedure', the police are to act immediately on receipt of complaint of a missing case irrespective of the jurisdiction. A helpline number 23241210 has been set up in this regard.
Lawyer HS Phoolka who represented NGOs working for the cause of parents whose children are missing welcomed the plan put forwarded by the police and said "row over jurisdiction" was one of the biggest hurdles in finding missing children.
The Delhi Police told the court that a special missing person squad will function under the supervision of deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Crime Branch.
As per the plan, if a rescued child is found to be mentally disturbed he will be put to effective counselling and assistance of NGOs will taken in this regard. A family liaison will also be appointed for the family of each recovered child, the court was told.
On March 16, the court had expressed serious concern over rising cases of children missing under mysterious circumstances. The court had asked school authorities not to strike off the name of a missing student without prior approval of department of education.
Delhi Legal Services Authority submitted a report in the court which said the kids, of the age group of two to four years were being abducted for trafficking purposes.