23 children from Bihar rescued at railway station in Bangalore

Special Correspondent

October 28, 2010 / hindu.com

Bangalore: Twenty-three children from Bihar, suspected victims of child trafficking, were rescued at the Yeshwanthpur railway station here on Wednesday.

While four people escorting the children, aged between six and 14, said they were being taken to a madrasa at K.R. Pet in Mandya district for studies, the rescue team was not convinced as it did not get satisfactory information about the children and their parents.

The Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSPCR) has ordered that the children be produced before the Child Welfare Committee of Mandya district and the SP of Mandya investigate the issue thoroughly.

Some of the rescued children are orphans, while the parents of others are poor people into small trades such as carpentry and construction, according to information gathered by members of KSPCR after speaking to the children. The commission is trying to get in touch with its counterpart in Bihar for more details.

“Those escorting the children had no valid records to show the parents' consent for the long journey or any official communication,” said Niranjan Aradhya, member of the KSCPCR, who also spoke to the children. Nine of the children said that they were already at the madrasa and were returning after a holiday. The other 14 were being brought to be admitted in the madrasa, Mr. Aradhya said.

Nagasimha G. Rao, convener of Campaign Against Child Labour , told The Hindu that the rescue effort followed a tip-off by a passenger aboard the Gorakhpur Express saying that she suspected it to be a case of trafficking.

The rescue team comprised officials of the Women and Child Development and NGO representatives, besides KSCPCR.

“In the past, there have been many cases of children being trafficked from far-off places in the guise of education. So, we believe the case requires a thorough investigation,” Mr. Rao said.

“The bigger question is why such small children have to leave their families and come so far away to study. This is a particularly relevant question because education is a now the compulsory obligation of the State under the Right to Education Act,” Mr. Aradhya said.

Mr. Rao said displacing children and separating them from parents was a violation of Article 9, 10 and 11 of the Conventions of the Rights of Children.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Superintendent of Police of Government Railway Police, Mir Arif Ali, said that no one had filed a complaint on the issue.


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