As many as 115 missing children from Odisha’s Ganjam district were rescued since January, police said on Tuesday. Among those rescued were 112 girls, they said.
“While 23 girls were rescued from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, 14 others were found from different parts of the district during the special drive,” Superintendent of Police Brijesh Rai said. “Many children were rescued from shops and hotels where they started working, while some were even found at their relatives’ places,” he said.
Several girls were also rescued from their boyfriends, he said. Several teenaged girls ran away with their boyfriends, following which missing complaints were lodged by their parents, the SP said.
“Many girls also left home after fighting with their parents,” he said. “We have taken action against several people who allegedly abducted the girls on the pretext of marriages,” Rai said.
In one such case, the district police on Monday rescued a 17-year old girl from Bhubaneswar and united her with her parents. She was found to be living with a young man at a rented house in the state capital, said Priyash Chotray, the inspector-in-charge of Purushottampur police station.
“The man has been detained for interrogation,” he said. “Trafficking is also one of the major causes for children going missing, rights activists said. In several cases, traffickers lured the girls with promises of decent jobs and trafficked them out of the states,” said Sudhir Sabat, a child rights activist.