Fifteen children and 10 adults were rescued in a joint operation conducted by the anti-human trafficking unit (AHTU) and NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) from an abandoned building in northwest Delhi’s Shakurpur on Tuesday. When the raiding teams broke open the lock of the building, they found children stacked in 100 sq ft rooms, wearing soiled clothes, living in rooms with unwashed toilets, no ventilation or even a fan, police said.
Two infants were also found from the premises living with the children. Police arrested one person under IPC sections 370 (trafficking), 342 (confinement) and 34 (common intention) and several sections of the JJ Act. “The children were told they would work as domestic workers, involving babysitting and some cleaning. They were promised an education in Delhi,” said a police officer. A medical examination revealed that out of the 25, 15 were minors. They have been sent to a shelter home and their counselling is expected to start on Thursday.
Police also found documents, including Aadhaar cards, of the rescued persons — and found that they came from Assam, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. When the children were asked about how they got to Shakurpur, some claimed they were sent through trains, while others said they travelled on a bus. “There were also children who could not remember how they ended up in that building. They are traumatised and do not trust us,” said a BBA volunteer.