Trafficked kids rescued, nine employers held

In a joint operation by the district task force, the Delhi Police and NGOs Prayas and Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), 29 trafficked children (all boys) were rescued and nine employers apprehended on Saturday from Nabi Karim, Central Delhi.

Most of the rescued children are below 14, reportedly brought to the Capital by traffickers from parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In Delhi, they were reportedly sold off to owners of units manufacturing purse and wallets.

Ten-year-old Sohail (name changed to protect identity) revealed that his employer used to make him work in his manufacturing unit from 9 am till 1 am. The boy said he then filled water till 4 am, and slept for just four or five hours. "We were allowed a bath only once a week there were six of us living in a small room above the unit," he said.

Most children said back home, parents "sold" them off as they had too many mouths to feed, or no jobs, said Chandan Kumar, an activist with HRLN.

"A few children have external bruises. They have been taught by employers not to divulge their correct age or information about their work. We will be able to determine their age only after a medical examination," said a doctor.

The children will first be sent to a Prayas rehabilitation home and then produced in the Child Welfare Committee on December 15.

Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights member M M Vidyarthi said: "We are working on making the task force better and coordinating with the state department in Bihar so that we can work out repatriation effectively."

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Jaspal Singh told Newsline: "A case under Sections 370 (buying or disposing of any person as slave), 374 (unlawful compulsory labour), 342 (wrongful confinement) of IPC and Sections 24 (employment of juvenile for begging) and 26 (exploitation of juvenile employee) of the Juvenile Justice Act has been registered against the accused at Nabi Karim police station."

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