In January last year, Inspector General of Police R P Upadhyay had passed orders that cases of missing minors be transferred to the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) if the local police failed to find them in four months. Since then, six cases have been transferred by various police stations to AHTU, out of which, two minors have returned.
Harsh, a 4-year-old boy from Dhanas, and a 16-year-old girl from Colony number 4, had left their houses, allegedly because their parents used to beat them up. Both children returned after some time and the cases were solved. Harsh’s mother and the father of the girl were booked under Section 23 (cruelty to juvenile) of the Juvenile Justice Act.
Explaining the working of the unit, the inspector in charge, Nafe Singh said, “When a case is marked to us, we start from the beginning. The family members and friends of the missing child are questioned. After we get certain leads, raids are conducted.”
Recently, a police team had raided some villages in Uttar Pradesh to locate a 15-year-old girl, Neetu, who had gone missing from her residence in Colony number 4 in August last year.
Last year, as many 261 cases of kidnapping and abduction were reported, of which 174 were women and minor girls. This year, till April 10, as many as 57 such cases have been registered. In many cases, the minor returns after a few days, the police said.
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AHTU also raids the places where they receive any information of child labour. Last year, the AHTU teams had conducted 17 raids in which 45 minors were rescued and sent to ‘Snehalya’ in Maloya village. This year, two such raids were carried out and two children were rescued.
“We are also in touch with the AHTUs of other states. A common software links us all. Whenever a child or a person goes missing, the police officials of that area upload the picture and details of the child so that other police officials can identify them,” said Inspector Nafe Singh.