THE UT cops were left red-faced on Saturday when Haryana DGP (Vigilance) K P Singh pointed out child and adult begging at light points and roundabouts in Chandigarh, and praised his Panchkula police for dealing with the problem firmly. The DGP was addressing a special workshop of capacity building for SHOs and juvenile welfare police officers designated under Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act at the UT Guest House.
Singh said, “In Panchkula, you will not find the begging problem, which is clearly evident at maximum light points and roundabouts of Chandigarh. The secret behind no begging in Panchkula is the only one round of a police vehicle every day at all the vulnerable points in view of begging. The one round deters beggars from indulging in begging”.
The DGP’s observation received support from the chairperson of Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CCPCR) Harjinder Kaur. She went one step forward when she said, “Really, it is a real problem in Chandigarh. Even I am getting numerous calls from several persons complaining about beggars, including children. We will have to do something in this direction.” The workshop was attended by almost all the Station House Officers (SHOs) of the UT Police.
Chandigarh follows the Haryana Prevention Beggary Act, 1971, which allows anti-child begging action by the joint teams of UT social welfare department, UT Police and child welfare wing.
Tabassum Khan, district child police officer, appointed by UT social welfare department, said, “We conduct a drive against beggars, including children. It is an organised racket, which has now changed tactics these days. They are now begging under the garb of selling small objects, including pens, toys and small wipers. We can initiate legal action only against parents. Recently, we rescued a five-year-old girl from Sector 34 light point. But before that, two other children had created a huge problem. We conduct drives in joint teams, including police personnel and members of child helpline.”
A police officer said, “During the tenure of former DC Ajit Balaji Joshi, intensive drives against begging were held and many children were rescued and rehabilitated.”
The DGP also cleared doubts in the minds of SHOs and juvenile welfare police officers regarding how to treat juveniles involved in petty offences and heinous crimes.