In their continued effort to find missing children and reunite them with families, Ghaziabad police traced 116 children under Operation Muskan – 2. In the month-long operation that started on July 1, five police teams searched for missing children from across the national capital region (NCR).
Officials said of the 116 children, 13 are girls. The group also includes 28 children who went missing from Ghaziabad.
“Those found include 62 children belonging to different areas of Uttar Pradesh. We also found 19 children who belong to Delhi, 3 belonging to Nepal and 25 belonging to West Bengal. Their families were contacted and children handed over to them on directions by child welfare committee,” Ashish Srivastava, circle officer and the nodal officer for the operation, said.
He said nearly 70-80% children left home after their parents rebuked them.
“They were mostly found at public places such as bus stops, railway stations etc and also from shelter homes,” he said.
A 13-year-old boy, who ran away from his house in Ghaziabad, was found at Delhi railway station.
“I had scolded him for not studying. He went missing and we searched for him everywhere. Later, we got information from police that he was found on July 23,” Subhash Kumar, the child’s father said.
Similarly, 14-year-old Sanu ran away from his house at Sikandra Dau and boarded a train to Aligarh.
“I was telling him not to play at all times but he did not listen. Then I scolded him and soon he went missing. The police told me to be mild in dealing with him,” Shahzadi, Sanu’s mother, said.
Ghaziabad police started reuniting missing children with their families after they launched an initial operation with the name operation ‘Smile’ in 2014. With the resounding success, the Union home ministry asked all states and Union Territories to initiate a similar operation.
Since 2014, the Ghaziabad police have found 1,510 missing children apart from 116 handed over to their families on Sunday.