To unite 346 missing children with their parents, Bihar Police will launch ‘Operation Smile’ across the state from tomorrow. The month-long operation will be conducted under direct monitoring of its nodal agency, CID (Weaker Section), and directions have been given to all 971 police stations in the state to trace the missing children.
CID Additional Director General Alok Raj said ‘Operation Smile’ is being launched as per the direction of the Supreme Court to run a special campaign from July 1 to 31 to locate all missing boys and girls and rehabilitate them. It is part of a nationwide campaign.
“As per a survey conducted by us between January 2013 and September 2014, a total of 2,874 children were missing. Out of that 2,528 were recovered. Under this operation we will try to recover the remaining 346 missing children,” Raj said. “The missing children are mostly used in human trafficking, organ trade, forced labour and as workers in hazardous industries. The number of the missing children could be more, as the data available with us is based on complaints received at police stations,” he said.
Asserting that the police will also update its database of the missing boys and girls during this period, Raj said that the motto of the campaign is “Reunite me with my mother”. A standard operating procedure has been made for this purpose which will be provided to all police stations. Public awareness campaigns will be run across the state, especially at transit points like bus stands and railway stations so that common people may also lend their hand in getting the missing children located and rescued.
The CID ADG said the police will seek the help of railways and NGOs also in the campaign. Street plays and mobile vans will be used to increase the awareness. “A website www.khoya-paya.gov.in has been launched where people can upload the photographs and information about the missing children,” Raj added.
According to PTI, the missing children in the state are mostly in the age group of 11 to 15 years. CID IG Vinay Kumar and SP (Weaker Section) Harpreet Kaur will be monitoring their recovery. The Bihar Police is also taking the help of civil society organisation ‘Prayas’ in the operation.
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