Missing children helpline flooded with distress calls

,TNN | Mar 20, 2014, 01.11 PM IST

RANCHI: The missing children helpline launched by CID, Jharkhand received 761 calls in only five months from the time it started in October 2013. The data revealed that until February 2014 of the 761 calls received 104 were for lodging missing children complaints. The data also showed that 54 of the 104 children have been found.

The data also revealed some shocking information like only 16 FIRs has been lodged of the 104 cases registered. IG CID, Sampat Meena, said, "The data compiled doest not give the exact number of FIRs lodged because an FIR is lodged at the district level and not by the CID. We have not been able to get the correct data from all the police stations so the number of complaints registered appears less. Once we get information from all police stations, the number will definitely increase."

Explaining the gap in the date compiled, she added, "The helpline was launched to help those parents whose complaints are not registered at the police stations. There have been many cases where parents have called up the helpline complaining that the inspector in charge of various police stations have not lodged FIRs and we have immediately made it a point to contact the SP of that particular district and get the complaints registered. This is the reason why 50% of the children have been found. I am sure if the police stations are contacted, we will find out that more number of FIRs have been registered than the dtat reveals."

The highest number of calls, which is 235, was made in January 2014 and the highest number of children found, which is 34, was also in the same month.

Meena said the helpline is functioning well and they are getting phone calls from across the state. "It is not possible to say from which district we got the highest number of calls but we did get calls from almost every district and even the interiors."

A source informed that there are eight children who have been located but they have not yet been brought back. Meena said she is clueless about it and if this is the situation then she will be getting in touch with the SP of that district. She said, "According to the procedure, when a child is located then the district police of the district from where the child belongs is asked to form a squad and send it to find the child from the location. I am not aware of any such case where the child has been located but not found. But I will definitely look into the matter."