Fourteen children allegedly trafficked from different districts of Bihar to Delhi were rescued and 10 people were arrested by the Railway unit of Delhi Police, officials said on Wednesday. As per protocol, the rescued children who are in the age group of 12-14 years have been taken to a quarantine centre in south Delhi's Lajpat Nagar, they said.
The matter came to notice after an information was received from an NGO on September 7 about 14 minors being brought to Delhi by Mahananda Express Train from different districts of Bihar, a senior police officer said. A joint operation was launched at the Old Delhi Railway Station by police along with NGO Bachpan Bacho Andolan, Salam Balak Trust and RPF personnel. The team kept a vigil on the movement of passengers and closely monitored the CCTV cameras to see any suspicious movement, he said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways) Harendra K Singh said "Ten persons were detained and 14 children accompanying them were rescued. These children were medically examined and taken to quarantine centre, Lajpat Nagar." "They were produced before the Child Welfare Committee through video conferencing. Based on their statements before the committee, a case was registered and the ten accused persons were arrested," he added.
During interrogation, the accused disclosed that the children belong to different districts of Bihar. Among those rescued, nine children are from Katihar, two from Begusarai, two from Kishanganj and one from Purnia. They had planned to take them to different places including four to Azadpur and two to Seelampur in Delhi, two to Faridabad in Haryana and six to Punjab, he said.
Due to the shortage of labourers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the traffickers saw an opportunity to get the children employed in factories and targeted poor families in Bihar, the DCP said. The arrested accused have been identified as Md. Akbar (35), Md. Manzoor Alam (25), Naushad (36), Tasuvil (30), Md. Naseem (35), Aman Kumar Sharma (21), Noor Alam (32), Md. Mehraj (24), Maskhur Alam (23) and Mahesh Lal Kewat (33), all residents of Bihar, police said.