Nearly 20 children in the age group of 3 to 18 have gone missing from a colony in East Delhi since 2002.
Six of them,between 12 and 15,cannot be found since the last one week. They are Durga,Dinesh and Jitender (all 15 years),two girls named Pooja (age 13 and 14),and Arjun (12). They have been missing since their school,Sarvodya Vidyalaya in Vishwas Nagar,got over on the afternoon of February 10.
The children had told their parents they would go on a picnic after school hours.
Police sources said five among the six were residents of New Sanjay Amar Colony,located behind the Karkardooma Courts. Two cases of kidnapping have been registered after parents reported them missing.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Anand Mohan said the first case had been filed at Anand Vihar police station a day later,and the second at the Farsh Bazaar police station this Tuesday.
Senior officers suspect that the six three boys and three girls were in love and have eloped. An officer said,All of them went missing the same day. Teams have fanned out in search of the children. Officers are also probing the role of a 19-year-old youth who might have helped them elope.
Parents,however,have alleged the children have been kidnapped. Father of one of the girls,Billu Singh,said: I dont know where my daughter is or whether she has been kidnapped.
A mother,Saroj,said: My daughter is missing for the last seven days. The police have not found her,nor helped us.
Raj Kumar Dhina,a local-level political worker,said: I have a list of nearly 20 children who are missing in the last few years. Not one of them has returned.
As per Dhina,among the missing are Jyoti (11) who went missing in 2002; her sister Ashu (7),Nisha (7),and Sushila (6),all of whom who went missing in 2003; Arjun (5) in 2004; Pooja (6) and Prakash (13) in 2005; and Dharmendar in 2007. Children are disappearing every month, Dhina said.
He added that 16-year-old Rajesh,brother of one of the teenagers who went missing on February 10,disappeared suddenly in December last year. In the same month,14-year-old Shiva also went missing.
One Lado,3,went missing in January this year.
Locals believe there is a trafficking racket on. DCP Anand Mohan said FIRs have been registered in the missing cases. He also said a few have come back since 2002,some had been traced and those still missing are being pursued.
Another girl gone missing,then found
Another six-year-old girl went missing from Rashid Market,Preet Vihar,on Monday but was found the next day.
Her father said the girl had been sent out to buy a mobile recharge card on Monday afternoon,when she was lured away. She was found at the same spot near Parwana Road the next day. The girl told her parents that she had been abducted and kept in a room near the railway crossing that night,but brought back by her abductor himself the next afternoon.
Her father alleged she was not well when found.