GUWAHATI ,July 23: In a major breakthrough, a team from Assam Police carried out a search operation in Sikkim and rescued as many as 42 children belonging to Chirang district in Bodoland Territorial Region.
The kingpin of the child trafficking racket, Krishna Jogi and his accomplice, have been arrested and are in custody of Chirang police. They are being interrogated.
A police team led by Assam Police special DGP, L.R Bishnoi and assisted by Chirang SP, Gaurav Upadhyay had conducted the operation in Sikkim and rescued the children on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters after interacting with the rescued children here on Friday, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that this was a significant achievement of Assam Police as the state police force, along with the drive against illicit drugs and cattle smuggling, had also intensified operations against human/child traffickers in the past two months.
“The children, aged between nine and 18 years, were taken to Sikkim on the pretext of providing education there but instead engaged in domestic work in various parts of the state. The children primarily belong to the Adivasi, Bengali, Koch-Rajbongshi and Boro communities and hail from four villages near the India-Bhutan border in Chirang district,” Sarma said.
“The state DGP was in constant touch with his Sikkim counterpart and the Sikkim police also helped in the rescue operation,” the chief minister said.
He revealed that over the past two months, as many as 107 women and children, including nine girls (hailing from five districts of Assam) in Kerala, have been rescued in the past two months.
“From custodial interrogation so far, police have been informed that the kingpin had trafficked as many as 80 children in the past two years, with some taken to Dubai as well. Investigation in this regard is on,” Sarma informed.
“The children will be kept in two guest houses in Kokrajhar for a few days. The child welfare committee, Chirang, will take a decision in regard to their lodging in residential schools. I will be meeting their parents after some days and also meet Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chief Pramod Boro, before taking a call in regard to their rehabilitation,” the chief minister said.
He further said that the police would further intensify operations against human trafficking in the state. “I believe thousands of children and women have been trafficked in the past few years. We also need a state policy in regard to the rehabilitation of rescued children and women,” Sarma said.