HYDERABAD: In a coordinated move, city police and government railway police along with the representatives of State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) busted a human trafficking racket and rescued 72 bonded labourers, including 14 minors from Secunderabad Railway Station, in the wee hours of Sunday. They were all said to be brought to Hyderabad to work as bonded labourers.
Based on information that a large contingent of bonded labourers was expected to arrive in the city in the Janmabhoomi Express from Visakhapatnam, the city police kept a close watch at the railway station and took 72 labourers into custody when they arrived. Later, they were all taken to Gopalpuram Police Station where their details were verified.
The authorities found that 14 among the labourers were minors and shifted them to the State Home at Allwyn colony near Kukatpally, while the others were set free.
The children are said to be from Bihar, Assam, West Bengal and Odisha. “We received over 72 members including 14 minors. We have cross-checked their identity and registered a case under the Human Trafficking Prevention Act and Juvenile Justice Act,” said S Ram Chandra, inspector, Gopalpuram Police.
“We released all above 18 years of age after verifying the details. For minors, we have collected the details like who had sent them or who were they supposed to meet in Hyderabad. We are verifying all the information,” the inspector said.
Janmabhoomi Express was scheduled to reach Secunderabad at 6.40 on Saturday evening but reached at 12.40 in the night. “ We were not able to nab the agent. Some of these boys were brought for working at brick kilns, borewell works, carpet making industry etc,” added the inspector.
Achuta Rao, member, SCPCR said “We had reliable information that about 100 children are reaching here along with trafficking agents. Children from backward districts of Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal are being brought to Telangana as bonded labour and sometimes as even part of organised begging networks.”
The group was split and seated in different bogies and each person claimed they were traveling alone. We could sense from their replies that they were trained to answer, he said. Police said a large number of people have arrived in the State during the Godavari Pushkaram festival.
72 members taken into custody
14 minors sent to State Home; others let off
Brought for bonded labour
Mostly from Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, and Odisha
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