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CBI looks for missing links

The CBI plans to seek a report from the Kolkata police on the disappearance of a large number of children from the city, report Rahul Das and Sandip Mallik.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2007 02:34 IST

The Nithari killings have sent shockwaves across the country. As instances of missing persons keep pouring in from every other state with each passing day, people ordinaire are just nursing a simple hope that another Nithari-type carnage may not take place in their own backyard. Moved by the horrendous episode in Nithari, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) now plans to seek a report from the Kolkata police, among other states, on the disappearance of a large number of children from the city, an official said.

At least 1,540 children went missing from the city in 2006 alone.

The CBI will also direct the police to form special squads to find out the whereabouts of the boys and the girls who went missing last year, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“We want to know about the status of the (missing persons) cases, so we have asked them to furnish the details,” a senior CBI officer told the Hindustan Times.

The police teams will visit the home of the missing children to find out whether or not they have returned. The search teams have been asked to file status reports to the Missing Persons Squad of the Kolkata police.

A recent report on human trafficking by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) dubbed Kolkata as “one of the most unsafe cities in the country for children”.

More than 7,000 children have gone missing from the city in the last five years, according to statistics available with the police. “We will try to find out whether a Noida-type racket is active in the state,” a senior police officer said, declining to be named.

The Kolkata police have failed to trace most of the missing persons, but senior officers claim the force did its best. “Apolice station immediately alerts the neighboring police stations. Besides, the police speak to family members, relatives and friends of the missing person to try and find out about the places where he might have gone,” said Gyanwant Singh, Deputy Commissioner of the detective department.

The NHRC report said that the state’s proximity to Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan and the states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa had made it an ideal hub for trafficking. Deals are struck and victims transported to far-off locations across the country.

West Bengal also figures among the six states with a high incidence of trafficking in male children. Unlike girls, who are trafficked mainly to be forced into flesh trade, boys are largely meant for forced labour, say experts.

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First Published: Jan 24, 2007 02:34 IST