Hyderabad: Children rescued during Operation Muskaan at the Cyberabad police commissionerate all have Aadhaar cards issued with similar dates of birth. Some of them have their birth year as 2000 and others 2001. The traffickers used this to avoid being caught by police.
Police is launching an in-depth probe to find from where the Aadhaar cards were procured and who managed to arrange them. Last month, nine police teams of the Cyberabad commissionerate were formed exclusively to rescue under-aged children forced into labour, ragpicking, begging and other occupations.
In a span of 30 days, police rescued about 541 children including 58 girls from various places in Cyberabad. As many as 247 cases have been registered against those who employed the children under Section 374 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 75 and 79 of the Juvenile Justice, and Section 14 of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act.
Cyberabad police commissioner V.C. Sajjanar said that among the rescued children, 338 belonged to other states. Sixty-two children were handed over to their families, while 479 were admitted to rescue homes.
“The children who were sent to labour are mostly from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam and Maharashtra. They all have Aadhaar cards with dates of birth as January 1, 2000, or January 1, 2001. These identification cards were prepared to be shown to police during raids. To avoid being caught, some establishments were making the children work during late hours in the night,” said the commissioner.
“The families of the children were given `1,500 per year for sending their wards for labour work. Middlemen are making money by placing the children at the worksites, and arranging Aadhaar cards for them. An in-depth probe is on to find how they manage to do so,” said another police official.
During the operation, two boys and a girl, aged 10, 11 and 12, were rescued from begging at BHEL crossroads. After rescue, the children were sent for medical examinations, where it was found that they are affected with HIV, and their parents had died due of AIDS.
“Relatives of the children forced them to beg on the streets and gave them a target to earn `1,500 per day, failing which they were not given food. The children were travelling by Metro trains to different locations to beg, They are now in rescue homes and being given medication,” said the commissioner....