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Of more than 19K missing children, over 14K reunited with families: Delhi Police to HC

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: January 23, 2019  | 19:12 IST

New Delhi, Jan 23 (PTI) Of the over 19,900 children who went missing from the national capital in the last three years, more than 14,000 were traced and reunited with their families, police have told the Delhi High Court. The submission was made by the Delhi Police before a bench of justices Hima Kohli and Manoj Kumar Ohri, which had in November last year asked the law enforcement agency to furnish the details of the number of children who went missing from the national capital between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018, how many of them were traced and reunited with their families and how many cases were pending. In an affidavit submitted before the court through standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra, the police said between January 2016 and December 2018, 19,916 children went missing from Delhi and of these, 14,756 were traced and reunited with their families as per law. The bench, on November 28 last year, had also asked the police about the follow-up action taken by it, as stipulated in the standard operating procedure (SOP), after recovering a child as well as the number of cases in which the Face-Recognition Software (FRS) was put to use to track missing children. In response, the Delhi Police, also represented by advocate Chaitanya Gosain, told the court that as stipulated under the SOP, a rescued kid was medically examined and produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) or the Juvenile Justice Board, as the case might be, for appropriate directions. Thereafter, a "home verification" was carried out and only after that a child was reunited with his or her parents or legal guardians through the CWC, the police told the court. Apart from that, "a proper enquiry is conducted as to whether the child has been subjected to any offence and if so, legal action in the matter is initiated". As regards the use of FRS, the police said it procured the system in March last year and integrated it with its Zonal Integrated Police Network (ZIPNET) missing children module. "As and when a photograph of a missing child is uploaded, it (FRS) automatically searches from the recovered/found children data, including data of Ministry of Women and Child Development, uploaded on all India basis on the website www.trackthemissingchild.gov.in. "...search is done automatically and system provides probable results for the investigating officers to link missing children with found children and vice-versa," the police said in its affidavit. The court had asked for the details of the missing children while hearing a man's plea seeking directions to the police to trace his minor daughter, who went missing in July, 2014. The then 13-year-old girl went missing on July 21, 2014 and after she could not be traced for more than two-and-a-half years, the father moved the high court in May, 2017. The court had, subsequently, transferred the probe in the matter to the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) of the Delhi Police's Crime Branch. The girl is yet to be traced. PTI HMP SKV RC

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