TIRUPATI: As many as 29 street children were taken into custody by police and 18 of them were handed over to their parents in a special drive taken up by Tirupati urban police Tuesday under Operation Muskan.
Disclosing details to newspersons here, SP Gopinath Jatti said the drive was taken up by the department under instructions from the Central government. It is inspired by an earlier programme--Operation Smile-- implemented across the country in January this year, he said.
Operation Muskan is a special programme initiated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) to identify street children, he said. It will be conducted till July 30.
As a part of it, a special team identified 29 street children Tuesday and took them into police custody. Of them, 18 were handed over to their parents. The identities of the remaining ones will be established and their parents will be informed, he said.
In all urban police divisions, special teams headed by a DSP rank officer were formed to conduct special patrolling for locating street children, he said.
The SP said one of the major reasons behind conducting the operation is to eradicate organ trafficking, child trafficking and begging mafia. “Cases pertaining to the organ trafficking are increasing hugely. Several times, the victims in these cases are children, specially teenagers,” he said.
Apart from that, child trafficking and begging mafia are the two major issues that need to be taken seriously, he said.