In a bid to prevent trafficking of girls from the Khunti district, around two dozen buses were checked randomly by district child protection officer (DCPO), Child Welfare Committee, Khunti police and officers of district administration on Saturday morning.
The checking drive was conducted on the direction of Deputy Commissioner of Khunti Suraj Kumar and is a part of a drive to curb human trafficking from the district.
Kumar said, “We have information that girls are trafficked from Khunti in morning buses so the officers have been directed to conduct random checking of buses at least two to three times every month.”
While no case of trafficking was detected in the 24 buses which were checked, the drive also proved to be a mode of spreading awareness among the drivers and conductors of the buses. CWC member Baidnath Kumar said, “We informed them about how human trafficking is an organised crime and asked them to contact police or Child Line if they see someone with a child acting suspicious.”
Apart from this a number of steps are being taken by the district administration to deal with the crime of human trafficking. DC said, “A direction has been given to the concerned officers to verify the whereabouts of the children who have been rescued from the clutches of human trafficking and rehabilitated in the last 10 years. This is to create a database of rehabilitated children and ensure that they are not re-trafficked and are linked to mainstream.”
CWC member Baidnath informed that according to the data available with the committee, every year, around 200 rescued children return to Khunti. “We are taking the help of Child Line and local NGOs to trace all these children. They have already been provided the list with name and address of every child rescued and rehabilitated in the last 10 years and the work has started. A final report will be submitted to the DC by the end of this month,” he said.
Wanted trafficker Pannalal Mahato, who has allegedly trafficked over 10,000 girls from the State, mostly Khunti, was arrested by the district police around a month ago. DC said that while his arrest has helped break the nexus, the district administration is now working on identifying those who worked with him.
“Pannalal is behind bars but it is equally important to identify those who worked with him as they might in future start working with someone else. An identification drive is ongoing at all the susceptible areas in the district to nab such people,” he said.
Also, the district administration is working on identifying missing children and tracking them down. “We are in touch with NGOs and government of places like Delhi and Punjab, where most of the missing children are found. At present we have tracked around 70 to 80 children whom we are now going to bring back home,” Kumar said.