Officials from Swargate police station (PS) have rescued a seven-year-old boy, who was made to beg in front of a temple near Sarasbaug. Police are investigating if an organised gang is behind it. The boy has been kept at a shelter home while the hunt is on for the person who forced him into begging.
Police officials said the handicapped boy was found near the Mahalaxmi temple during a drive, on Sunday, to catch the beggars in the Sarasbaug area. Senior police inspector Deepak Nikam, in charge of Swargate PS, told Mirror, "We suspect that the child was kidnapped and forced into begging here. The boy is physically disabled and he doesn't understand Hindi or Marathi. After counselling, we learned that his father's name is Jangam and his mother's name Charan and they are from Sanjwada. We are trying to investigate further with these details. He is unable to communicate anything else."
Police naik V V Patil has lodged a first information report for offence under Section 363 A (kidnapping or maiming a minor for purposes of begging) of the Indian Penal Code. According to police, action was taken against 14 beggars during the drive and they have been sent to a rehabilitation home.
Police officials said they are deliberating a change in strategy to deal with the issues of child labour and trafficking as parents often fuel the crime. They are considering a legal route, approaching the courts to have the parents declared unfit, under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.
"Parents are often involved and mostly even if these children are rescued, they are sent back for the same work," an officer said. On Sunday, during the drive, they caught 14 beggars and seven children; one of them was the boy rescued by the police. On Wednesday, he was produced before the Child Welfare Committee and shifted to a shelter home in Yerwada. The search for his family is on.
Source : Pune Mirror , 22nd Oct 2015