20 kids rescued from NFR premises, 1 'trafficker' held

20 children rescued from railway premises under NFR, one 'trafficker' held

Assam has been identified as a source area of human traffickin

Representative Image. Credit: AFP File Photo

At least 20 children have been rescued from trains and railway premises under Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) during a drive against human trafficking in the past one week and a suspected trafficker was arrested.

A statement issued by NFR said a 34-year-old man, identified as Shakhul Hadi was arrested at Kishanganj railway station in Bihar on August 12 following which 10 children were rescued. Interrogation of Hadi revealed that the children were being taken to other parts of the country for engaging them as child labourers. The man hails from North Dinajpur district in West Bengal.

The children were handed over to Child Line, Kishanganj while the person was arrested under sections of Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act 1986 and Prevention of Human Trafficking Act, 2014 and Juvenile Justice Act 2016.

The whole of Northeast, West Bengal and parts of Bihar fall under the NFR.

On August 15, Railway Protection Force (RPF) train escort party (Lalgarh – Dibrugarh Express Special) rescued one runaway minor girl aged about 13 years belonging to Kothiapathar in eastern Assam's Tinsukia district. The matter was informed to her family members over phone. Later, the rescued girl was handed over to her elder brother after proper identification, said a statement issued by chief public relations officer, NFR, Subhanan Chanda, on Wednesday.

On August 16, four children were rescued in two different drives in Guwahati and Tinsukia railway stations in Assam. A team of RPF with the help of Railway Childline, Guwahati found two runaway minor boys at Guwahati railway station. They were from Hojai in central Assam. They were handed over to Railway Childline, Guwahati for their safe custody and necessary action for reunion with their families.

An RPF team of RPF Post/ New Tinsukia during a routine check at the New Tinsukia station rescued one minor girl along with two boys on the same day. The girl is from Chabua in Dibrugarh in eastern Assam and other two boys are from Baghmari village in Dhubri district in western Assam. The minor girl had fled away from her home without the knowledge of her parents, Chanda said.

The Assam government has launched a drive against human trafficking and rescued several women and children from the clutches of traffickers or while being taken out with the promise of jobs and education. Assam has been identified as a source area of human trafficking. Many have been found engaged in hazardous work including in flesh trade.

Poverty, annual floods and lack of jobs are major reasons of trafficking from the state.

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