Police on high alert to prevent child lifting, trafficking from Rath Mela | ranchi | Hindustan Times
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Police on high alert to prevent child lifting, trafficking from Rath Mela

Anti-human trafficking activists and police are of the opinion that young trafficking agents prowl the fair to love-trap innocent girls and lure them to the metros, where they are eventually sold to placement agencies.

ranchi Updated: Jun 27, 2017 19:44 IST
Saurav Roy
Rural visitors during a fair on Rath Yatra before the historic Jaganathpur temple in Ranchi.
Rural visitors during a fair on Rath Yatra before the historic Jaganathpur temple in Ranchi.(Diwakar Prasad/ HT Photo)

Cops in civil dresses will keep an eye on the happenings at the Rath Mela in Ranchi in a bid to prevent any incident of child trafficking from the 300-year-old fair, which has reportedly become a hunting ground for child-lifters and trafficking agents over the years.

The 10-day fair at Jagannathpur Temple of the state capital attracts thousands of rural teenagers from across the state, many of whom, activists say, visit the fair to find dating partners and love.

Anti-human trafficking activists and police are of the opinion that young trafficking agents prowl the fair to love-trap innocent girls and lure them to the metros, where they are eventually sold to placement agencies.

The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Jharkhand police has issued an alert to the district police highlighting the vulnerability of young girls and children at the fair, said Inspector General (organised crime) Sampat Meena.

“Any person who notices suspicious activity at the fair can inform us on our CID children’s helpline number 8877444444,” she added.

The district police have deployed at least 250 police personnel to keep a vigil on the fair, which attracts over 10,000 revelers, primarily from villages, every year.

“Our men are on high alert. Half of the 250 policemen would be present at the fair as civilians. CCTV cameras too have been installed,” said Ranchi superintendent of police Aman Kumar.

He said stringent checks would be carried out at the exit points in the city, including railway stations and bus terminals.

Sarita Devi, a mother of four, had lost her 14-year-old daughter at the fair a couple of years back. She visited the fair the next year with the hope of finding her daughter, but had to return disappointed.

“I can identify the man who took away my daughter. I even saw him once at the fair last year, but he disappeared in the crowd before I could confront him,” says the daily wage earner from Khunti.

Meanwhile, the district administration has deployed more than 500 police personnel in the city to prevent any communal tension during Eid. A flag march was taken out in all parts of the city on Sunday.