Maharashtra has the most missing children in India, followed by West Bengal, according to the Delhi-based non-profit group Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
The state recorded 13,000 missing children in 2009 and West Bengal recorded 12,500 such cases, together accounting for more than a third of the country’s 60,000 missing children, according to the group’s findings.
The group compiled the numbers after filing Right to Information applications at police stations across the country, yielding what it said was the most comprehensive nationwide data on missing children.
The data included first information reports and station diary entries relating to such cases.
Two states, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, as well as a few districts in Bihar did not reply to the applications, which means that the all-India figure is probably much higher.
The National Crime Records Bureau in Delhi also compiles nationwide data on missing children, but it does not count station diary entries, which constitute the majority of complaints relating to missing children. Its tally for 2009 was therefore only 8,000.