Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Now children are missing in Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal, Jan 16 (IANS) Tazwar Mohammad, a minibus driver, has been running helter- skelter searching for his two-and-a-half year old son Imran who has been missing for over a month.

Tazwar is not the only one who is searching for his child. Many parents in Madhya Pradesh have gone desperate over their missing children. The recent revelation of child killings in Nithari village in Uttar Pradesh has aggravated their anxiety.

Repeated requests to the police have not yielded any result. According to the police, 611 children went missing from seven towns of the state in 2006 - 282 from Bhopal followed by Indore (129), Ujjain (108), Dhar (33), Khandwa (28), Mandsor (16) and Khargone (15). "The figures of missing children from other 40-odd districts are yet to be collected," the police said.

Statistics available with the police show that a total of 431 boys and 254 girls went missing in 2006, of which 265 boys and 138 girls were found while 166 boys and 116 girls were still untraceable.In 2005 too, 129 children went missing from Bhopal. They still remain untraceable.

"More and more parents are approaching us since the Nithari killings came to light," said Archana Sahay, head of Childline in Bhopal."Police should take up the case of every missing child seriously and people should also be aware. When the media can find out such cases, why can't the administration," she asked.

"Till now we were hoping that our child will come back some day," said Mohammad Sabir, whose 13-year-old deaf and dumb son Faizal has been missing since Dec 12.

"But when we saw the reports of Nithari killings and reached the police station, the cops behaved rather rudely," Sabir said.Bhopal Superintendent of Police A.K. Singh has denied the allegations, saying police always act promptly in all cases of missing children.

According to the state police chief, A.R. Pawar, Madhya Pradesh is a more vigilant state than Uttar Pradesh and the chances of Nithari-type incident here are remote."Still, I will direct the officials to be more vigilant in the case of missing children," he said.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Nagendra Singh has asked the police to maintain a record of missing children from each district.

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