Approx 688 children who went missing since 2016 are yet to be traced, the State police informed the High Court. N Nagajothi, Assistant Inspector General of Police, who filed affidavit before the High Court on behalf of the state police said, “Out of 9,882 children who were reported missing between 2016 and August 31, 2018, the police have traced 9,177 children and another 17 by the Anti-Child Trafficking Unit (ACTU). About 666 are yet to be traced by the police and 22 by the ACTU,” he said.
The submission was made by the state police on a petition filed by B Nirmal of Exnora International, in which he sought the probe into the two instances of child missing from platform-dwelling families in the city.
While hearing the plea, a division Bench headed by Justice M Sathyanarayanan wondered whether the authorities had conducted any investigation in connection with unregistered children’s homes and orphanages functioning in the State.
The Bench then impleaded the Director of Social Welfare department and directed him to file a report in the number of such unauthorised homes in the State and action taken to check them, by October 25.
The police said that between 2016 and August 31, 2018, 9,573 cases of missing children were registered, besides 4,409 for exploitation of children, and 874 for kidnapping or maiming a minor for begging and procuration of minor girls.
“Among 4,409 cases of exploitation of children, 965 cases are under investigation, 1887 pending trial, 706 not taken on file, 97 ended in conviction, 634 ended in acquittal and 120 were closed,” said the officer.
Noting that 43 teams of ACTU were formed in 2017 as per the instruction of the High Court, the officer submitted that as on date, 45 cases of missing children were taken up by the units and in the probe of 115 cases of missing children, the unit has traced 61 children.>