TAMIL NADU

Team to probe child trafficking

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday directed the Tiruchi Superintendent of Police to constitute a special team of police officers to investigate alleged trafficking of children at Gandhi Nagar in Tiruverumbur taluk.

Passing interim orders on a habeas corpus petition filed by the mother of a missing child, a Division Bench comprising Justice D. Murugesan and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan said that the team shall file a report in the court before them on August 27.

Prevalence of child trafficking not only in the State but across the country was an issue of serious concern.

Courts had come across many cases where such children were forced into begging, stealing and even sexual abuse, the Judges said.

In the present case, the petitioner from Velankanni in Nagapattinam district stated that her 12-year-old son went missing during tsunami. Only after a year, she came to know that her son was in the clutches of a gang at Gandhi Nagar.

When she approached it, the gang forced her to accept another boy instead of her son, the petitioner alleged and said that even the police failed to initiate any action. She also alleged that people who offered to help in rescuing her son were being threatened by the gang and the police. The Velankanni police on Wednesday produced a boy, who, according to them, was the missing son of the petitioner, before the court along with a middle aged woman.

However, when enquired by the judges, the boy said that he was an orphan and that the petitioner was not his mother. He further told the judges that he was living in Velankanni where he met the woman, her present guardian, six months ago and was living with her since then. He also told that he was arrested by the Kerala police during his vacation to the State recently and handed over to the Velankanni police.

The judges entrusted the custody of the boy to the woman with whom he had come to the court and directed her to admit him to a school. She was also ordered to produce the boy before the court whenever necessary.

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