Guwaahti, July 21 (IANS) Fourteen children were rescued on Tuesday by a team of the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) led by Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi and Assam Police while they were being taken by a trafficker with the promise of jobs in Bengaluru.
The trafficker was arrested during the operation, police said.
An official of the NGO said the operation was carried out based on information that a group of poor children was being trafficked by a train at the Rangiya railway station.
“We stopped them at the railway station around 7 a.m. and police took the man into custody after questioning. The children belong to Bodo and Adivasi communities from Sonitpur and Udalguri districts,” the official said.
The 14 children included 12 boys and two girls, all below 18 years.
They were waiting at the Rangiya railway station for a train to Bengaluru.
“We had organised a sensitisation programme for police in Kamrup district on Monday and the policemen helped us carry out the drive and rescue the children,” he said.
“The trafficker admitted that he had taken many minor girls and boys from Assam to Delhi and Bengaluru earlier too. He admitted to have taken 26 children in 2013 alone,” said the BBA official.
The children were rescued hours after Satyarthi met Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, and the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation decided to set up a joint fund to assist victims of trafficking and bonded labour hailing from Assam.
At least nine districts affected by floods and militancy have been identified as vulnerable for child trafficking. Many girls were found to have been sold to brothels in Delhi, as child brides in Harayana and Punjab and in spas and massage parlours in Mumbai, Goa and Bengaluru.