HYDERABAD: Seven people were arrested here for allegedly trafficking 26 children from different states and engaging them as labourers, police said on Tuesday. As part of the raids conducted under Operation Smile by Meerpet Police officials of the Rachakonda Commissionerate, children in the age group of 12 to 17 were rescued from different workshops at Bhupeshguptha Nagar and Nandanavanam Colony. The children who were engaged as labourers belonged to Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Telangana, Rachakonda Commissioner of Police Mahesh M Bhagwat said. All the children were trafficked by the seven owners/accused who were running plywood, timber and mechanic workshops.
The children were detained in sheds located within the premises of the timber depots, furniture shops, hotels, vehicle mechanic shops and plastic scrap shops, run by the accused. The accused brought the children from different states after paying an amount to their poor parents who were in need of money.
The three owners who are the main accused are said to be absconding. Eight boys from Telangana who were all working in mechanic sheds in the same areas were counselled and handed over to their parents, while the remaining six children were sent to rehabilitation homes.
Cases were filed under Sections 370(A), 374 of the IPC, Section 79 of the Juvenile Justice Act and Section 14(1) of the Child labour Act.
The rescue operation and arrests were made under the supervision of CP Mahesh M Bhagav Addl. CP G Sudheer Babu, K Chandrasekhar, Inspector of Police and the AHTU Rachakonda team.