The railway unit of the Delhi Police has rescued 14 children trafficked from different districts of Bihar to Delhi and arrested 10 people, officials said on Wednesday.
The rescued children, who are in the age group of 12-14 years, have been taken to a quarantine centre in south Delhi's Lajpat Nagar.
According to the police, the matter came to light after an information was received from an NGO on September 7 about 14 children being brought to Delhi by the Mahananda Express from different districts of Bihar.
A joint operation was launched at the Old Delhi Railway Station by the police and the NGO Bachpan Bacho Andolan, Salam Balak Trust and RPF personnel.
The teams kept a sharp vigil on the movement of passengers when the train arrived. The CCTV cameras were also closely monitored to see any suspicious movement.
Meticulous scanning finally bore fruit and few persons in suspicious circumstances were noticed with some juveniles. In the end, 10 persons were detained and 14 children accompanying them were rescued.
The children were medically examined and taken to a quarantine centre in Lajpat Nagar. They were produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) through video conferencing.
Accused interrogation reveals kids' whereabouts
Based on their statements made before the committee, a case was registered and the 10 accused persons were arrested.
During sustained interrogation, the accused revealed that the children belonged to different districts of Bihar -- 6 from Katihar, 2 from Begusarai, 2 from Kishanganj, and 1 from Purnia.
The accused planned to take the children to different places in and around Delhi -- 4 to Azadpur, 2 to Seelampur, 2 to Haryana and 6 to Punjab.
"Because of the shortage of labourers in factories due to Covid-19 pandemic, the accused saw an opportunity to bring the children and make them work in the factories. They used to target poor families in Bihar and promised them jobs and supplied their children to different places for child labour," said Harendra K. Singh, DCP, Railways.
(With inputs from IANS)