Operation Smile: TS police rescues 2,119 children

Published - February 02, 2019 10:45 pm IST - Hyderabad

A visually-impaired boy who went missing for two months from Maharajganj in Uttar Pradesh was rescued at Mancherial railway station in North Telangana. The 17-year-old was later reunited with his parents after the police informed their counterparts in UP about his current location.

Under phase V of ‘Operation Smile’, the boy was rescued and his details were entered in DARPAN app, a unique facial recognition tool developed by Telangana police. “His details were matched with lakhs of images from various database across the country and his details tallied with that of a boy who went missing in November last year. He was reunited with his family,” said Swati Lakra, IGP (Law & Order) and in-charge of Women’s Safety.

Extensive use of technology by the rescue teams in the form of facial recognition software for the first time in the country is the unique feature of this operation, she said.

The Telangana police along with other government departments have rescued 2,119 children, including 1,653 boys and 466 girls, during the month-long drive to trace missing children. “Of the 2,119 rescued children, 1,303 were reunited with their families while 816 were sent to rescue homes,” she said.

Ms. Lakra added that 763 children of them, including 545 boys, belong to other States.

These children were engaged in child labour, micro industries and begging while many others were trafficked. “Since the launch of the programme, the teams rescued vulnerable children from railway stations, bus stations, religious places, traffic junctions and footpaths,” she said.

Nagarkurnool team raided cotton mills and rescued seven child labourers hailing from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, and produced them before Child Welfare Committee for handing them over to their parents.

Ms. Lakra said that 58 cases were registered under various sections related to crime against children.

In Rachakonda commissionerate, the teams raided welding shops, tyre shops, timber depots, scent shops, sweet shops and shopping malls and rescued 29 children from Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, and Rajasthan, said Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat.

He said a total of 255 children, including 58 girls, were rescued by the Rachakonda police and seven street boys were sent to Saidabad children rescue home.

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