An organised child trafficking gang operating from Bihar and Jharkhand was exposed in Indore with the district administration and a rights group rescuing 38 children, most of whom below 11 years, from the Indore railway station, officials said.
Impoverished children from families in remote villages in Bihar and Jharkhand, were rescued from the Patna-Indore express on Tuesday, said Indore collector P Narhari.
This is the fourth occasion in the last six months when children have been rescued in the city and until now, more than 100 children trafficked from the two states have been rescued, he said.
“There is an organized gang behind the trafficking of impoverished children, most of who are from the remote villages in Bihar and Jharkhand.”
The children are lured to the city by touts and middlemen who promise them a better life, said Brijesh Dhakkad of Child Line. “The promises made by the agents to the children and their families are rarely fulfilled and the children are trapped after coming here,” he said. Most of the children rescued were below 11 years, Dhakkad said, adding that even in previous rescue operations carried out by Child Line, it was found that the children were “purchased” from their parents and brought the city with a promise of employing them.
“The agents promise parents that they will be transfer Rs 4,000 every month apart from giving the children food and shelter,” he said.
“The children work in deplorable conditions without any rest and are not allowed to contact their parents or even take a break.”
Police are yet to arrest the kingpins of the gang, said town inspector ML Chauhan.
“We are questioning four people who were travelling with the children,” he said. The rescued children are being counselled and have been shifted to shelter homes, he said. “The children who are being counseled have been shifted to shelter homes in the city and will be produced before the Child Welfare Committee on Friday.”
Police said the rescued children are scared to give any information about the traffickers.
“The children are giving inconsistent statement about the people who were accompanying them on the train,” said Anand Rai, a GRP official.
“Some of the children said they came to visit the city to visit their relatives while others said that they came here alone on a vacation. When they are asked about the addresses of their relatives they don’t have anything concrete to say,” he said.