In an early morning operation on Thursday,16 minors who were being trafficked to Punjab were rescued by police after a tip-off from an NGO. Five persons,including a Nepali citizen,were arrested during the raid.
The five arrested were identified as Mahesh,Ram Narayan,Shakir,Naheed and Matir ur Rehman. Investigating officers said the children had been brought by the Brahmaputra Mail on Thursday morning,Around 9.30 am,police team conducted a raid on platform number 10 and 11 of the Old Delhi railway station and rescued the kids. The children were made to stand in different groups by their traffickers to avoid detection,police said. Police said one of the kids had called up his parents from Kishanganj railway station and told them how the traffickers got several other other kids to board the train from various stations.
Four children were from Nepal,while the others were from Bihar and Uttar Dinajpur in West Bengal. They were being taken to Ludhiana where they were going to be forced into child labour. So far,it appears that they were going to be made to work in a zari unit in Ludhiana. We have already arrested five persons and a manhunt has been launched to arrest the others who are a part of the racket, said a police officer.
One of the rescued children,a 14-year-old boy from Nepal,said, I lost my parents recently and have eight siblings. There was a person from our village who promised me a better
life in India. I had no option but to leave my house to feed my family.
Garima Dimri,an official of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan,the NGO which alerted police about the children being brought on train,said all the kids were lured by their traffickers into believing that they were being taken to Punjab where they would get a better life. Some fo them had boarded the train to Delhi from Bengal on Wednesday. They were being taken to work as labourers sweet shops and garment factories. A few did not even know where they were being taken to. The others were promised a better lifestyle, said Dimri.