Berhampur (Odisha): The police rescued 29 children, including 15 girls, confined in a single room in Odisha`s Ganjam district and arrested two persons on charge of illegal trafficking of minors.
The children, in the age group of 7 to 16, hailed from tribal-dominated southern districts of Gajapati, Kandhamal and Rayagada.
They were rescued by police with the help of `Childline`, Berhampur, activists from the village on Friday evening. The children are now in the custody of `Childline`, police said.
While 16 of the rescued children were from Mohana area of Gajapati district, 10 were from Bramhanigaon area of Kandhamal district. Three others were from Kenduguda area of Rayagada district, sources said.
Tapan Kumar Das of Tanganapalli near Berhampur and Ishaq Majhi of Chandragiri in Gajapati district were arrested for allegedly trafficking the children after convincing their parents that they will be provided higher education and better facilities, said Sadar police station inspector in-charge A K Sethy.
The two have allegedly collected Rs 3,500 from the parents of each child for the purpose. The children, however, were yet to join any school and were housed in a single room without proper facilities, police said.
They were arrested on charges of cheating and under various sections of Juvenile Justice Act (JJA), based on a complaint lodged by Prabhu Prasad Patra, a Childline activist, the inspector said.
Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has intimated the parents of
the rescued children. They would be united with their parents though the district administration, sources said.
In a similar incident, 35 children from Gajapati district were rescued from different places of Tamil Nadu by police with the help of child rights activists last year.
The children, in the age group of five to 10 years, from Gumma and Seranga areas in the district, were taken by an area person to Coimbatore on the pretext of providing them free education.