Senior Supreme Court advocate H S Phoolka said that cases related to drug abuse among children is rising in Punjab and is the main reason why they go missing from homes. He claimed that smugglers were using them as couriers.
Speaking to The Sunday Express, Phoolka said, “They are made addicts by the peddlers in schools itself and later encouraged to leave home and earn money,” Phoolka told The Indian Express on the sidelines of a child trafficking seminar organised by the AAP on Saturday.
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Giving the example of a boy from Gurdaspur, Phoolka said, “He was caught by the police at the age of 14 when he revealed that he was taking drugs (heroin) since the last three years through his friends in school. It was shocking when he revealed that almost 28 boys in his school take drugs and are in this business.”
He added that the crisis is not restricted to only Punjab but other states as well.
“Statistics show that every 8th minute, a child goes missing in India and 72% of missing persons are minor girls and 95% are from poor families. We along with Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) are working on sensitising parents,” said Phoolka.
Meanwhile, the common people who participated in the session also revealed many aspects of child trafficking.
BS Sekhon, a participant said, “Whenever a child goes missing, police is reluctant to register FIR within 24 hours despite Supreme Court orders. They give a vague excuse and say that parents should first search homes of relatives and friends. They try to while away maximum time.”
Another one said, “The children are being used are beggars and racket is running in connivance with police. Thus no action is taken against begging gang leaders.”