Child Trafficking: CBI Restarts Investigation

By Indian Express News Service, Published: 10th September 2015 03:49 AM

PALAKKAD:  The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the CBI, which is probing the child trafficking case, called on various officials and recorded their statements in the last two days as part of the phase-II of the investigation.

The phase-II of the probe began after the Supreme Court refused to stay the CBI investigation ordered by the Kerala High Court into the illegal transport of children to the orphanages in Kerala from Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.  

The managements of the orphanages had approached the apex court demanding a stay on the CBI investigation. Chairman of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Father Jose Paul, told Express that two officers — Deputy Superintendent of Police (CBI) Subash Kund and sub inspector J. Chandru — visited the Childline office in Kalmandapam on Tuesday where the children were kept after the Railway Police registered a case against them for travelling without tickets and valid documents and the traffickers. They had also visited the office of the Social Justice Department and enquired about the procedures associated with registration of orphanages.

Subash Kund also attended the CWC sitting on Wednesday, met all the five members and enquired about the case. He also demanded a report from the CWC. Father Jose Paul said the CWC would submit a report again to the CBI as requested.   The CBI team also spoke to the Railway SI M Manu who had registered FIR in the case.

Sources said the CBI has asked the manager of the orphanage in Kozhikode to meet them on Thursday for recording statement. It may be noted that the manager had paid fine on behalf of the children who had travelled without tickets, the next day of the incident.

The CBI team will also be taking statements of Revenue and police officials who had rescued and rehabilitated the children before sending them back to their homes.  Parents of most of the children had rushed to Palakkad when the news broke, showing that the children were not indeed orphans. As the children had no documents, the government was unable to know whether these children were sent back to their respective states after their stay at the orphanages.  On the first day, 455 children were brought from Jharkhand and Bihar and on the second day, 123 children were brought from West Bengal. 

Thus, a total of 578 children were brought from the North Indian states in the last week of May 2014. The CBI team will also visit the Mukkam orphanage in Kozhikode and the Vettathur Anwarul orphanage in Malappuram where the children were reportedly headed.Around two months ago, CBI inspectors Ranjith Pandey and A Vinod had visited Palakkad as part of the first phase of the probe and collected evidence from the District Crime Branch Police which had investigated the case.

Though eight persons, including Bihar and West Bengal natives, were arrested in this connection, the investigation has not made much progress.