A day after theft gang busted, MP police ask villagers to share details of their children

The busted gang’s alleged leader has told investigators that some villagers “leased” their children aged between 9 and 15 to the gang for a year at Rs 10 to 12 lakh for the thefts.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Bhopal
PUBLISHED ON DEC 05, 2020 04:55 PM IST
A Madhya Pradesh police officer, who did not wish to be named, said over 15 children from three villages left in August and September to join the gang.(Getty Images/Representative photo)

The Madhya Pradesh police on Saturday asked residents of three villages in the state’s Rajgarh district to share details of their children away from their homes or face tough action. This came a day after the Delhi Police busted a gang and arrested five people for having children from the region commit thefts at weddings in the National Capital Region and some other big cities.

The gang’s alleged leader, 26, has told investigators the villagers “leased” their children aged between 9 and 15 to them for a year at Rs 10 to 12 lakh for the thefts. The gang would allegedly use them to steal items at weddings. “The gang members used to train these kids to mingle with people at high-profile weddings,” said Delhi police’s additional commissioner Shibesh Singh. He added they have taken two juveniles into custody.

A Madhya Pradesh police officer, who did not wish to be named, said over 15 children from three villages left in August and September to join the gang. He added their parents and other villagers refused to accept this.

The Madhya Pradesh police were tracing these children. “We are yet to receive any communication from the Delhi Police,” said Bhopal division’s additional director general Upendra Jain.

“We have registered six cases against parents in the past two years for giving their kids on annual contract to gangs. Now, we have asked the local police station Pachore in Rajgarh to get all the details of the kids, who are not present in the three villages...We will take tough action against those who will not share details.”

He said they were holding a campaign with the help of the district administration to bring these children into the mainstream. “We enrolled them in schools and also counselled their parents. Many people have discontinued this old-age profession of wedding theft but a few people are still involved in the thefts.”

Child rights activist Prashant Dubey asked the state government to take more corrective measures to save these kids. “A large number of children are becoming part of these gangs as not only parents but villagers get good money from gangs to keep it secret. The police should maintain a proper record of the kids and others. The regular monitoring of the movement of these kids is very necessary.”

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