40 children trafficked from Assam rescued in Sikkim, 2 arrested

Guwahati, July 23 (IANS) Forty children including 16 girls and two adults trafficked from Assam have been rescued in Sikkim and brought back here on Friday, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.According to the police, the parents of the children, hailing from four villages of western Assam’s Chirang district adjoining Bhutan, were lured by two persons who promised that the education of the children would be taken care of but the children were engaged as domestic helps. The police also arrested the two accused and during interrogation, one of them confessed that in the last two years 80 children including girls have been trafficked from Assam to other states, with some sent to Dubai as well. With the active support of the Sikkim police, the operation was launched by the Assam police headed by the Special Director General of Police L. R. Bishnoi and guided by Bodoland Territorial Council Chief Promod Bodo. The Chief Minister said that his government’s priority is clear that along with drugs and cattle smuggling, human trafficking from the state would be stopped. Spending some time with the 40 rescued children and two adults, Sarma said, “We cannot tolerate childhood, the most promising period of one’s life, being snatched away. We cannot even allow exploitation of children either.” He hailed the Assam police led by Special DGP Bishnoi and Chirang district Superintendent of Police Gaurav Upadhaya and their team for rescuing the 40 children and two adults from the child traffickers. Sarma said that the state government would adopt a policy for the rehabilitation of the children who are trafficked and rescued to secure their future.He added that continuing its operations against human traffickers, the state government in the last two months rescued 107 children and women from different parts of the country. Sarma said that he would visit the villages of the rescued children along the India-Bhutan border and talk to their parents in a bid to address the problem permanently. An official statement said that upon information about 80 children from four villages from the Bodoland Territorial Region trafficked outside, Assam police through intelligence inputs traced 42 victims to Sikkim. Efforts are on to recover more children and apprehend all the culprits involved in this human trafficking racket. The government will handover the children to their parents and if they agree, the children will be sent to residential schools. The government will also seek the recommendations of the Child Welfare Committee in this regard, the statement said. –IANSsc/bg

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