Lok Ayukta of Andhra Pradesh Justice B. Subhashan Reddy on Thursday directed the Chief Secretary to the State Government to instruct the District Collectors and other authorities concerned to keep vigil on begging mafia.

The institution registered a case on Thursday suo motu based on reports in a section of the media that begging was not a natural practice for most of the beggars and an organised mafia was behind it.

It had become a big business for mafia gangs due to the apathy of the authorities concerned in taking action against such gangs.

Begging for most of those engaged in it was going on in flagrant violation of human rights and other statutes such as the Prevention of Child Labour Act, the Bonded Labour Act and others.

The Chief Secretary was also told to direct the Commissioner of Labour to implement the laws to prevent begging by children, the Commissioner of Endowments to prevent begging in front of temples, the Commissioners of Police to conduct special drives to tackle the menace.