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Child labourers rescued from two squares in Bhopal

As many as 17 children, forced into selling various items and entertaining people through acrobatic shows at two squares in Bhopal, were rescued from the clutches of a gang, police said.

bhopal Updated: Nov 11, 2014 15:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

As many as 17 children, forced into selling various items and entertaining people through acrobatic shows at two squares in the city, were rescued from the clutches of a gang on Monday, police said.

The children, aged between 2 years and 13 years, were rescued in a joint operation by NGO Childline, Women and Child Development department, Bhopal police and Labour department at the Board Office square and Roshanpura square.

Police said the statements of the minors were recorded by a three-member team of the child welfare committee before about a dozen of them were handed over to their parents living in different slums of Bhopal.

As parents of some of the children could not be located, they were sent to two orphanages Umeed and Matra Chhaya, they said. While most of the rescued children were said to have been "hired" from their parents, some of them might have been abducted. Two of them, both girls, were from Maharashtra.

However, no action was taken against gang members till filing of the report. Out of the total 17 children rescued, 10 were busy in selling evening newspapers at the two squares. Some of them were performing acrobatics.

Some men and women who controlled the children and their activities at the two squares were also picked. They were busy in selling ear buds, visiting cards case etc. Some of the members of the gang belong to Rajasthan, said police.

Of the women, some had kids in their laps while selling different items and soliciting financial help from people in the name of treatment of their 'ailing children'.

While the operation was going on, a female member of the gang created high drama and tried to hurt herself by hitting her head with bangles on her hands. She also picked a stone to hurt herself but police personnel soon overpowered her.

"Since most of the children were not involved in hazardous activities no action was taken against their parents and they were allowed to take their children home," child welfare committee chairperson KS Dubey said. Childline director Archana Sahay said, "The operation was carried out to curb the menace of child labour and it would continue for some time."

First Published: Nov 11, 2014 13:37 IST