Over 600 children missing from Delhi this year

Thursday, December 30, 2010

NEW DELHI - Nearly 2,161 complaints of missing children were registered in seven of the 12 districts of Delhi in nine months of 2010, response to a Right to Information (RTI) query revealed Thursday. Over 1,500 children have been recovered, but 605 are still missing.

“At least 2,161 children went missing from northwest, south, north, outer, New Delhi, east, and southwest (police) districts of Delhi between January 1 and September 30 this year, revealed the response to the RTI application filed by the Alliance for People’s Rights (APR) — a group of non-governmental organisations (NGO).

Of the 2,161 children who were reported missing, 1,556 children were recovered and 605 are still missing.

The application was filed in October 2010 in 12 police districts of Delhi, of which five failed to give information on missing children.

“The response we received from police stations and public information departments of police stations was terrible. Only seven districts could manage to give complete information, while the west and southeast districts failed to reply to the application, said Reena Banerjee, secretary of Navshrishti, a member NGO of the APR.

The worst hit region turned out to be Jahangirpuri in northwest district that reported 217 children missing in this span, with 172 not found till date.

“The clear problem lies in lack of initiative by the police. What we are emphasising on is to properly question the children who are found later as they can lead to the rackets that are operating in child-trafficking, organ racket, prostitution or beggary, explained Banerjee.

Outer district and northwest district areas such as Aman Vihar, Seelampuri, Shahdara, and Jahangirpuri, among others, were high tension regions because of huge migrant population that is employed as labourers in the areas, she said.

“The response shows how Delhi is on its way to becoming the second Nithari. Complaints in police stations are not listened to and the matter dies down once the child is found, added Banerjee.

“My seven-year old daughter Deepali has been missing since August. We have got the FIR registered in the local police station, but have got no response till now, said Rekha Rani, a resident of Jahangirpuri, whose husband works in a local shoe factory.

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