By Zafar Abbas
New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) With Delhi Police now focusing its efforts to trace and rescue missing children in the wake of involvement of hundreds of juveniles in recent crime incidents in the capital, 537 minors have been recovered in the last two months.
The police feels that if missing children are not rescued in time, they may fall into the hands of criminals, who will in turn push them into criminal activities ranging from burglary to heinous crimes like murders.
According to the Delhi Police’s half-yearly statistics, as many as 325 juveniles have been apprehended for heinous crimes, and 1,014 for non-heinous ones in the last six months.
Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava has made it clear that now the extra focus would be on cases of missing children. Police officials are being encouraged to put in extra efforts to find out and rescue these missing children.
A clear message has gone down from the top brass to the lower hierarchies to tighten the noose on criminals who recruit or use juveniles in criminal activities.
The rescued juveniles are engaged in constructive activities through YUVA initiative of Delhi Police to upgrade their skills and make them self-dependent in future.
“In the last two months, 724 minors went missing in Delhi, while 537 children were rescued during the period. Policemen who rescue at least 50 children in a year will be given out-of-turn promotions. This will help curb crime,” Shrivastava said.
The alarming data on the involvement of juveniles in crime has highlighted the preference given to them by gangsters and other criminals since it is easy to lure them into the world of crime and also for the fact that they are sent to juvenile/correctional homes if caught and not jails.
At least 20 children go missing in the national capital daily. The modus operandi of organised rackets involved in the kidnapping of children is to sell the minors to organised gangs and other criminals.
According to data available for June and July 2020, of the 724 minors who went missing, 552 are females below the age of 18. As many as 49 children are below the age of eight.
However, Delhi Police traced 537 children in June and July, including 402 girls and 135 boys.
Recently, Delhi Police had apprehended a juvenile involved in a robbery, whose video went viral on the social media. The juvenile was part of a ‘Thak Thak’ gang and robbed a businessman by distracting him.
On July 8, three juveniles were apprehended for stabbing a 25-year-old man in Raghubir Nagar for objecting to their bike stunts. The CCTV footage of the brutal attack also had gone viral.