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Srinath Vudali, TNN | Apr 15, 2013, 05.52AM IST
HYDERABAD: Eight-month-old baby Sragvi was traced in four days, but over 2,800 children who went missing over the last few years were not so lucky.
In all, 11,000 children (below 18 years) were reported missing across the state over the last few years, most of which are girls. Nearly 2,845 children (2009-11) still remain untraceable, of which 1,688 are girls. These numbers have sparked suspicion of human trafficking in state. Officials informed that the figures for 2012, which are being compiled, could be even worse.
Investigators suspect the hand of organised gangs behind the disappearance of children. Officials do not rule out the possibility that girl children might have fallen into the hands of gangs involved in flesh trade, while the begging mafia exploit boys.
But till now, police officials have failed to unearth any network involved in trafficking of children despite knowing of the existence of such gangs. Though 1,948 missing cases were registered between 2009 and 2011, police succeeded in getting conviction in a dismal 84 cases only.
CID is the nodal department which deals with juvenile protection. When contacted, additional director-general (CID) T Krishna Prasad said, "Though our men are making efforts to trace the missing children, a large number of them are yet to be found. In the last decade, no major organised gang was nabbed." A decision was taken to set up a 'Child Protection Cell' which will unearth organised gangs and trace the missing children, he informed. "Also, it has been observed that if a missing child returns home or is rescued, it is not intimated to the police station," Krishna Prasad said.