BENGALURU: Police have rescued 190 children forced into begging across the city.
Several policemen donned mufti, and along with child right activists, representatives of child welfare commission and NGOs, went across the city with a camera and rescued the minors. Some were infants who were victims of child trafficking.
The drive, conducted on Thursday jointly with NGOs and dubbed ‘Operation Smile’, aimed to stop juveniles and infants from getting into beggary. It was headed by P Harishekaran, additional commissioner of Police (East). The drive started at 10 am and was on till 7 pm. Harishekaran said the operation took off on the direction of Home Minister K J George.
“It is the worst violation of a child’s right and against the dignity of children, who hail from poor areas and are brought to cities,” he said. Child begging violates basic human rights and the protection framework of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child (1989). The government, civil society and law enforcement agencies must act in unison to prevent this crime, he said.
Children Home (Bala Bhavan) officers and staff were briefed on handling rescue and were trained to deal effectively with children. They were also instructed on how to collect evidence during rescue operations.
“Handlers can be arrested under provisions of law such as Juvenile Justice Act 2006, Sec 2 of The Karnataka Prohibition of Beggary Act 1975 and Sec 363 of the IPC,” he added.
Participants of The Drive
- Department of Women and Child Welfare Development
- CWC (Child Welfare Committee)
- Various NGOs working in the field of child protection and care
- Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPUs)