It is now almost 10 days since the eight bonded child workers were rescued by a special team, headed by the Revenue Divisional Officer and comprising officials and NGO members, from two textile units situated in the heart of Tirupur knitwear cluster. But till now, no police case had been registered in the incident leave alone arrest the accused.
The revenue and the police officials were passing the buck when this reporter tried to track the progress in the case. Revenue Divisional Officer (Tirupur division) T. Palanikumar told The Hindu that after the children were rescued, the matter had been transferred to the police to take action against the accused. When contacted, the anti-human trafficking wing of the city police, said that the matter was being inquired by the RDO.
Meanwhile, sources in the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, the NGO which participated in the rescue operations, said that the medical tests later conducted on the children at district headquarters hospital confirmed that six of them were below 14 years and two others were aged 16 years.
“One of them has severe burn injuries also. The children were brought from North Indian states and were lodged in pathetic conditions within the unit premises,” Fancy Anitha, district coordinator of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, told this paper.
On the day when the children were rescued, the RDO had said that the minors were employed for paltry monthly salaries of around Rs. 1,500 a month which, too, the amount was said to have been sent to their parents. When it is clear that only a detailed inquiry could throw light into the trafficking of children, it remains a mystery why the officials had been dillydallying with such an issue.