Palakkad: A team of officials from Jharkhand today confirmed that over 500 children brought to Kerala last week from eastern states were victims of child trafficking.
The Jharkhand team, led by Sunil Kumar, Labour Enforcement Officer, made this clear after interacting with several children kept in a charity home after unearthing the racket and arrest of eight persons here last week.
Eight persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in an inter-state child racket supplying children to orphanages in north Kerala, mostly from Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar.
The racket was busted by the Railway Police as the children arrived at Palakkad station and the adults who accompanied them were found to have no valid document for taking the children from the home state.
They claimed that the children were mostly meant for orphanages in north Kerala and had come with the consent of their parents. However, they could not produce any document to support their claim.
The Jharkhand officials told reporters that there was no valid ground for children to be sent to orphanages in Kerala as education and and food were free in their home state.
A senior official from Jharkhand Labour Department would be arriving here tomorrow and decide on the future course of action, they said.
The arrested had been booked under penal provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act and remanded to judicial custody.