KOCHI: As many as 50 children aged less than 15 who had been missing since August 2014 have not been traced so far, the state government submitted before the Kerala High Court on Monday. The report submitted by the state police chief said 2,221 children aged below 15 had gone missing in the state since August 2014. Of these, 2,171 were tracked down.On whether the state has any machinery to track down the missing children, the state submitted if the missing child had not been recovered within four months, from the date of registering the FIR, the matter will be forwarded to the district anti-human trafficking unit headed by the DySPs of District Crime Records Bureau(DCRB).
The TALASH information wing functioning in State Crime Records Bureau(SCRB) publishes details of missing children with all relevant details periodically in the criminal intelligent Gazette. Moreover, there is the web portal- ‘Track the missing child’ - at the national level and it is operated by the Social Justice Department in Kerala. The services of the web portal and cyber cells in the districts are also being used to track down the missing children.
The state filed the report in response to a court order directing it to inform the number of children who had gone missing from August 2014 to August 2017. The court had issued the order on a petition from Thaju of Panavally, Alappuzha seeking a directive to the state government to constitute a special investigation team to probe the missing child cases. The petitioner submitted his 15-year-old son Nizamudeen went missing in April 2017. Though a case had been registered, the police could not make any further headway.
When the case came up before the HC on Monday, the court said the police officer heading the probe should be an efficient one. The team should be posted exclusively to track down the missing children. The court also asked whether the state government had taken any steps to comply with the directions of the Supreme Court to deal with the missing children cases.