26 children rescued from train; Bihar Police suspect trafficking racket
The railway unit of Bihar Police rescued 26 children from Karmbhoomi Express train that was on its way to Amritsar in Punjab from New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal via Bihar late on Wednesday evening. They have also arrested 12 alleged child traffickers.
The operation was conducted on a tip-off from NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan. A joint operation carried out by Government Railway Police (GRP), Railway protection force (RPF), Railway Childline and Child Welfare Committee (CWC) rescued 12 children from Hajipur station when train was arrived. Another nine children were rescued at Sonepur, and five at Chhapra railway stations.
“All the rescued children are boys, believed to be under 10 years of age, however no document or certificate of their age was recovered,” said Sudhir Shukla, nodal director of Child Line. He said majority of the people travelling with them claimed to be their uncles, or neighbours.
Inspector Ganesh Singh Rana, in-charge of RPF post (Hajipur) said the children belong to Katihar, Kishanganj and Purnia and are suspected to be taken to Saharanpur, Ambala, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Delhi as child labour.
“Statements of people travelling with them are being recorded. Their parents are being called. Counselling will be done by the child welfare committee on Thursday before handing over the children to their family members,” he said. Police are looking for other members of the syndicate.