Eighteen minor boys, allegedly being trafficked to Chennai and Bengaluru aboard the 15228 Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur Special, were rescued at the Vijayawada Railway Station in a joint operation by the Railway Protection Force (RPF), Government Railway Police (GRP), Vijayawada and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), an NGO.
On a tip-off, teams led by RPF Circle Inspector Chandrashekar and GRP Circle Inspector R. Srinivas rescued the minors. Five persons suspected to be trafficking the children were taken into custody, Mr. Srinivas said.
During inquiry, it was revealed that the accused were shifting the minors, natives of Muzaffarpur, Khagaria, Araria, Bhagalpur and other places of Bihar. The accused identified vulnerable families in Bihar and coaxed them into sending their children to far-off places in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, said BBA project officer, K. Srikanth.
The accused, along with the rescued children, were produced before the NTR District Child Welfare Committee (CWC), according to Senior Divisional Security Commissioner Valleswar B.T., who was monitoring the operation.
CWC Chairperson K. Suvartha said the children were referred to a Child Care Institution (CCI) for short stay. Instructions have been given to the officers concerned to contact the parents of the rescued minors for repatriation.
“The GRP has been directed to book a case against the traffickers and investigate the case from all angles,” Ms. Suvartha said.