Over 16 children were rescued from the Mumbai bound Jansadharan Express at Raxaul railway station on Saturday. The authorities chanced upon this case of alleged human trafficking in the aftermath of the massive earthquake in Nepal.
The rescue was carried out by a joint team of officials of the Bihar labour resource department, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and functionaries of an NGO Prayas.
The security personnel arrested four alleged traffickers accompanying the children, who were of the 8-14 age group. Several others managed to give the authorities a slip amid the commotion.Those arrested are being interrogated and the rescued children have been put up in a short stay home of the NGO.
Official sources said all the rescued children belonged to poor families in villages on both sides of the Indo- Nepal border, including those in Bihar and UP. They were being taken to a bag manufacturing unit located in Mumbai. Labour superintendent of East Champran Sanjeev Kumar,who led the raid at Raxaul station, said out of 16, seven rescued kids were from West Champaran of north Bihar. Out of the rest nine, five were from East Champaran and two each were from Uttar Pradesh and Nepal. The labour superintendent said the current rescue was the latest one among several such events in recent days.
"The government had recently given over 100 such children Rs.1,800 each to help them in their rehabilitation in East Champaran alone,"he said. An SSB official, said during interrogation of the arrested traffickers they got to know that the parents of some of the rescued children were working in various parts of Nepal as labourers.But after the Nepaldisaster they became unemployed, which left them vulnerable to the lure of money and persuasive powers of middlemen engaged in trafficking, the SSB official said.
Commandant of 13th battalion of SSB Rakesh Kumar Sinha said after the disaster in Nepal, he has alerted all 18 border out posts of SSB to keep a close eye on suspected cases of human trafficking. Since 2013, his battalion had rescued over 250 children and women being trafficked to various states of the country.
All rescued kids, after a stint at a short stay home, are handed over to their families in two or three weeks. Thanks to acute poverty,they are lured back into trafficking again, soon thereafter,he said.