New Delhi: The Supreme Court has criticised the Centre and several state governments for their failure to file status report on the issue of missing children. The apex court has also come down heavily on the Chief Secretaries of Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu for their failure to personally appear in the matter and asked them to explain the status of missing children in their states on February 19.
The court issued the order on a PIL filed by an NGO. This also comes after the Justice JS Verma Committee highlighted the issue of the missing children of India in the wake of the Delhi gangrape case. "A lakh kids go missing every year. The police must file an FIR, DM should maintain records," Justice JS Verma had said.
Most missing children are victims of human trafficking and sexual violence, often with police connivance, observed the Justice Verma commission, citing the case of a minor girl who was trafficked from Jharkhand to Delhi, made to work for a year without pay and then trafficked again to Punjab.
Official records show 53,000 children were reported missing in India in 2010, 59,000 missing in 2011, that is 1 child every 8 minutes. Activists claimed the biggest problem was police inaction.
Delhi has the largest number of untraced children as 14 kids go missing from the city every day. Police claim most are cases of children running away willingly, rarely investigating allegations of child trafficking and sexual abuse.
According to the NCRB 60,000 children go missing every year despite the fact that big states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar, along with Punjab and Jharkhand, did not provide the data for missing children.