Rising number of reported cases of girls and women missing

The police have constituted a District Missing Persons Tracing Unit (DMPTU) in all districts in the wake of rising number of reported cases of girls and women missing, State Police Chief K.S. Balasubramnian told the Kerala High Court on Wednesday.

A circular to the effect was issued on July 1. As per the new system, if missing girls or women could not be traced even after conducting a probe for 15 days from the date of registering the case, the DMPTU would take over the investigation.

The circular said the delay in locating the missing girls had drawn flak from the High Court.

The circular pointed out that as of now there was no system for dedicated investigation into women missing cases. The new system would prevent delay in tracing the missing persons and streamline the present style of investigation.

The circular pointed out that every year a number of persons had been reported missing in the State and the majority of them were young girls and minors.

In the circular, the State Police Chief said some were traced and produced before the court only after lengthy investigation. Individual missing cases could be attributed to human trafficking for various purposes, including sexual exploitation.

The head of the DMPTU would be an Assistant commissioner or Dy.SP of crime detachment in each district. In addition to the investigation officer of the particular case, the unit would have three or four promoted Sub-Inspectors, four Assistant Sub-Inspectors and required number of head constables and civil police officers.

When a disappearance case was reported at the police station concerned, an FIR should be registered immediately and as far as possible the probe should be conducted by the Sub-Inspector or the station house officer, the circular said.

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