IRSDC officials rescue 16 children from being trafficked: Railways

NEW DELHI, Jul 9: A group of 16 children has been rescued from being allegedly trafficked after they were spotted sitting in a corner at the Secunderabad railway station without any adult for company, the Railways said Tuesday.

The children were spotted by officials of the Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC). The Secunderabad station was handed over to the IRSDC for integrated facility management. It is one of the busiest stations in the South Zone, with a daily footfall of almost two lakhs.

On July 3, IRSDC officials noticed a group of young boys huddled in one corner of platform 10 of the station, sitting on the floor, clutching their bags and baskets, the Railways said.

“All were similarly dressed in salwar-kurtas and wore skull caps. An alert official decided to interact with the children because it seemed like the children were unaccompanied. However, as soon as she started asking the kids where their parents were, two adults appeared from behind, claiming to be with them,” it said.

The official grew suspicious. She made the two men stand at a distance and questioned the children again, who revealed that they were from Bihar and had come to Telangana to study at a madrassa, the national transporter said.

“There were 16 children between the ages of 5 and 16 years. By now, IRSDC team had alerted all functionaries and stood guarding the children preventing them from boarding any train. The official talked and joked with the children and asked their names to keep them calm while police and child services team arrived. Police promptly took the men claiming to be with the children for interrogation. Child Services took custody of the children,” it said.

The alertness and prompt action by IRSDC and Railway officials saved the children from being trafficked to the interiors of Telangana and AP and sold as bonded labour, the Railways said. (PTI)

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