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Replicate ‘Operation Smile’, states told

Incidentally, neither National Crime Record Bureau nor National Commission for Protection of Child Rights have data on missing children.

Written by Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneswar, Raipur |
December 18, 2014 2:30:55 am

Encouraged by Ghaziabad police’s ‘Operation Smile’ initiative, in which 227 children missing from the area were rescued from different parts of the country in a month (September-October), Union Home Ministry has written to all states and union territories to take up a similar drive in January 2015.

Orissa government has confirmed receiving the letter in which Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami has advised state governments to undertake a campaign starting from January 1 to 31, during which all children residing in shelter homes, platforms, bus stands, roads and religious places would be screened by trained policemen.

“Since the SC has been emphasising upon early recovery of all missing children, it is desirable that based on the experience gained in Operation Smile, all state governments and UTs may take up the initiative. While screening, cases of those children considered to be of missing children category should be documented,” the letter reads.

Before January 1, 2015, police personnel from each state need to be trained in various provisions of POCSO Act, Juvenile Justice Act, Protection of Child Rights Act and advisories issued by MHA.

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Incidentally, neither National Crime Record Bureau nor National Commission for Protection of Child Rights have data on missing children.

The home secretary has also written that the police personnel should take photographs and video recordings of the children. Particulars of these children should be uploaded in the missing child portal of the Ministry of Women and Child Development by respective state police bodies, the secretary advised.

Titled ‘Operation Smile’, Ghaziabad police started a drive in September-October this year under which they gathered data on complaints about missing children filed in the police stations of the district. Then, a brochure of missing children was published and sent to NGOs and child rights commissions for information on the children.

As part of the drive, over 100 police officers were sensitised in issues related to missing children, POCSO Act, Juvenile Justice Act, Protection of Child Rights Act and various advisories issued by SC and MHA. They were given smartphones so that they could use WhatsApp and video chats to trace the children.

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