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Child trafficker in police custody

FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

IMPHAL, January 4: Ozish Lima, who was arrested by the CRPF personnel in Tamenglong district of Manipur while he was smuggling out three tribal children (all below 9 years of age), has been remanded to police custody for seven days.

 Meanwhile, police have started investigation into his role in child trafficking.

Zeliangrong Youth Front, an influential organisation of the Zeliangrong, has also condemned the attempt to smuggle out the innocent children. In a statement Titus Kamei, the president, said that it would have been unthinkable what would have happened to the children if the CRPF personnel had not rescued them.

Police are conspicuous by their absence from the highway.

It is established that Lima, who is from Maharastra, has been moving around in some states, including those in the NE region, in a car. His motive is not known.

The Zeliangrong Youth Front has raised questions as to who was funding his “project” in the region.

The CRPF personnel found a laptop, milk, toys, sweets and one surgical knife in the car. The presence of toys and sweets establish that he had plans to entice some children from this mountain district. In fact he had succeeded and he would have taken away the children had not the vigilant CRPF intercepted him.

Manipur has a long history of child trafficking. Missiory looking persons, dubious men and women have been visiting the interior tribal areas to assure the unlettered parents that their children would be given free education and suitable jobs. In the past, several boys and girls who were taken away had been rescued on the way.

First they are taken to Cheni from where they are taken to different places.

It is on record that although several children had been rescued from so called hostels and educatiol institutes, not a single crimil has been booked.

Some years back, three tribal girls had rrated the ordeal they underwent in a foreign country. They had been taken there on the assurance of lucrative jobs. But they were forced to work as domestic servants. Their salary was pocketed by the trafficker, known by the code me ‘Michael’.

Realising that their fate was doomed, they sought fincial help from some sympathetic tourists. It was with the help of such persons that they could return to India.

The government has failed to take up the cases of the rescued children in law courts despite the fact that the identity, location and other details of the traffickers, their offices and modus operandi are known. The government iction in this regard is fraught with suspicion.

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Ankur Kalita

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