One in every five missing children in India is from West Bengal, which reported 14,671 cases of missing children in 2014 or more than 21% of the total cases reported in the country, said NGO CRY - Child Rights and You on Tuesday.
“Going by the data shared by the ministry of home affairs during the parliamentary session, West Bengal was among the four states which together accounted for more than 60% of the missing children in the country.
“To be more accurate, the state reported 14,671 cases of missing children in 2014, which is more than 21 percent of the total cases reported in India. In other words, one in every 5 missing children in India is from Bengal,” a CRY statement said.
Citing National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data, the organisation highlighted Bengal was among the top five states in the country in kidnapping and abduction of (K&A) children and accounts for six percent of such cases in the country.
“Cases related to kidnapping and abduction of minors in the state has grown by 608% over the last five years. Number of K&A cases in 2010 was 332 and over the last five years it rose to a whopping 2,351 in Bengal,” the statement said.
The organisation also drew attention to the gender skewing among missing children, as revealed by the home ministry data.
“Over 2010-2014, out of the 3.85 lakh children who went missing across the country, 61 percent were girls. The situation is worse in West Bengal. Missing children data from 2014 shows that 70 percent of the children who went missing in the year were girls,” the statement said.
Around 40 percent of the missing children each year remained untraced.
Atindra Nath Das, regional director, CRY East, said: “It’s good that the state has recorded a decrease, however small it might be, in the number of missing children. But, going by the current trend reflected in the government data, Bengal along with some other states continue to show worrying trends in cases related to missing children. There is a close linkage of missing children to organized crime.”