Arrested on Monday, Raju, alleged leader of a human-trafficking gang that threw children into begging after maiming them, has reportedly told the police that he kidnapped more than 20 children from Punjab in the past three years.
The police produced him before the court on Tuesday and secured his custody for four days. They stated that they had rescued all 20 kidnapped children and the parents of many missing children had approached them since. A middle-aged woman from Tanda in Hoshiarpur district, who had come to the Sherpur police post to inquire about her son who had disappeared a few months ago, was afraid that her child had also been pushed into begging.
Sub-inspector Mukesh Kumar, in charge of the Sherpur police post, said his team was getting calls from all over Punjab and the neighboring states, from the parents whose children were missing. “In the preliminary interrogation, Raju has told us that he pushed 20 children into begging in past three years. A hunt for his accomplice, Saleem, is on,” he said.
The Focal Point police have rescued five children since Raju was arrested on Monday.