The highlights of the 'updated status report' filed in the Patna High Court on the action taken by the police in cases of abduction, make for disturbing reading. The status report was filed by IG (Weaker Sections) CID, AK Gupta, as the 11th supplementary affidavit in a PIL case on abduction of children in the state.
The only silver lining to an otherwise bleak string of statistics is the report's conclusion that there had been a significant drop in the number of abductions for ransom in the last two years.
The updated status report states that, between 2001 and June 23, 2007, 2068 children were kidnapped in the state. Of these, 74 were killed by their kidnappers while 304 were still untraced.
Further, Patna had the sinister distinction of being the town where the largest number - 36 - of abducted children were murdered. Patna was followed by Bhagalpur (16) and Muzaffarpur (13) in the number of children killed by their abductors.
Muzaffarpur, however, tops the list of Bihar towns from where children were abducted. The status report filed by IG (Weaker Sections) CID states that, in the period under consideration, 726 children were kidnapped in Muzaffarpur.
Muzaffarpur was followed by Patna where 598 children were abducted during the same period.
Apart from the 304 abducted children who are still untraced, there are 348 missing women, too, who have not been traced so far.
The number of missing women was 399 on May 15. Though the police recovered 73 of them in the next 70 days, there were 22 new cases of women reported missing during the same period.
It may be mentioned here that, while hearing a PIL petition on May 28, the Patna High Court had directed the state police to act expeditiously in all kidnapping cases, and file a report by August 2. The court had passed the order in a PIL case initiated suo motu on the basis of Press reports about the abduction of Golu alias Gaurav Kumar in September 2005. The IG (Weaker Sections), CID, had filed the updated status report in compliance with the High Court's order.
The status report further disclosed that there had been a significant drop in the number of abductions carried out for ransom during the last two years. While the number of kidnapping cases stood at 411 in 2004 and at 251 in 2005, it came down to 194 in 2006. Till June 23, 2007, only 48 cases of kidnapping for ransom had been reported.
Between May 15 and July 25 this year, the police had recovered 54 of the 304 missing children but 51 new cases were registered in the same period. More than half of the 304 children still untraced were girls, the status report says. Of the 165 female children reported missing, 154 had eloped with their lovers, or got married, the police report states.