Thanks to their special campaign, the Mumbai police have, in the past three months, traced 2,608 people who were reported to be missing from their homes.
Of the 2,608 people found between November 2014 and January 2015, 643 children, including an alarming number of 368 girls, were rescued from begging and child labour rackets in Mumbai, officials of the social service branch said.
Even as the officials have solved 2,608 cases, the number of people who went missing during the three months, too, was quite high (2494). “The missing person cases often remain pending for a considerable period. It is quite possible that the figures of those found, could exceed the number of people who went missing in the same period,” said Pravin Patil, deputy commissioner of police (enforcement).
Of the 2,494 missing people, 529 are children, said officials. “We have formed several teams to trace the children, who are mostly forced to beg or work as child labourer. Although we have not come across any begging racket or gang operating in Mumbai, we are in the process of checking how the children get involved in such activities,” said Patil.
The special teams formed to handle such cases will speak to the children to get the details of the people they meet and find out how they are made part of the begging racket.
Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria, too, has asked all police stations and the SSB to prioritise these cases.