MALKANGIRI: Police today rescued 49 persons, including 21 children, while they were being illegally ferried to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh to work as labourers, police said.
"We have arrested four persons, including one middle man, who were found engaged in taking the poor people by luring them with good food and handsome wage," said Dinabandhu Behera, inspector-in-charge of Motu Police Station.
According to Behera, police swung into action following a tip-off from the Child Welfare Committee, Malkangiri. Of the 21 children, 16 were girls. The children were between the age of nine years to 16 years, he said.
"We caught them while the 49 persons were being ferried in river Saberi," Behera said, adding that Satipali Narasimha Rao, the middleman was among the four persons arrested in the incident.
Meanwhile, police have handed over the rescued children to the CWC, Malkangiri. "We will rehabilitate the children as per the law," said CWC, Malkangiri chairperson Sanjukta Pradhan.
Malkangiri District Collector D Prasant Kumar Reddy said he would ensure that the adult labourers rescued by the police would be provided with job cards.