A DAY after the prime suspect in the child begging scandal, Dalbir Singh blamed the parents of at least seven children for forcing them to sell candies in markets, Chandigarh SP Vinit Kumar interacted with at least four juveniles out of the seven rescued children at Snehalaya shelter house on Tuesday.
Sources said that the rescued juveniles named Dalbir and accused him of forcing them to sell candies for Rs 20 each and collecting Rs 10 for each packet sold. The juveniles recorded their statements with the police officer in the presence of the social welfare department officials.
SP Vinit Kumar said, “Though juveniles accuse Dalbir of forcing them to beg under the garb of selling candy packets, we decided to interact with the parents of these juveniles as well. Before making any arrest, we want to clear several doubts. At least four juveniles out of seven were aware about the name of Dalbir. Shortly, the statements of the rescued children will be recorded under the Section 164 of CrPC. The Social Welfare department and UT Labour department will be conducting a drive against child labour and child begging across Chandigarh.”
A social welfare department officer said, “The decision for conducting a drive against child begging and child labour was taken in a joint meeting held by DGP Sanjay Baniwal and the Social Welfare department officers last month.”
Meanwhile, the UT labour department on Tuesday lodged an FIR against three shopkeepers, including owners of Laajwaab Food point and Sehgal Cloth House at Sadar Bazar in Sector 19 and a shop in Sector 20, for making underaged children work at their units. Three children were rescued from two of these shops on January 21. The rescued children, who are 15 years, 14 years and 10 years old, respectively, are lodged at the Snehalya shelter house.
The FIR was lodged in the matter on the statement of the UT Labour Inspector Ramphal Katariya. A police officer said, “The UT labour department had lodged a DDR on January 21, after the children were rescued, however, a formal complaint was lodged Monday. In the complaint, they only mentioned the names of the shops, from where children were rescued. Responsible persons will be arrested after a thorough probe.”
Labour Inspector Ramphal Katariya said, “We want to ascertain the exact age of the rescued children, which is mandatory for lodging the FIR. Parents of one of the rescued children were traced to Bihar. They submitted their ward’s birth proof establishing him as juvenile. Efforts are being made to trace parents of the other two juveniles.” A case was registered under the Sections 3 and 14 of the Child Labour (Prohibition And Regulation) Act, and the Sections 75 and 79 of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, at the Sector 19 police station.
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