Inspector G P Chauhan files complaint against the kingpin of the child trafficking and eight-year-old
After initial reluctance, Vatva police finally registered a case against Murli and Raju for child trafficking late on Saturday, in Madhavan Nayyakkar’ case. Commissioner of Police S K Saikia has ordered Crime Branch and its Human Trafficking Cell to conduct a parallel inquiry into the case.
The police action came three days after Mirror’s January 19 report that eight-year-old Madhavan, who was found unconscious outside a temple near Ghodasar on January 12, was a victim of child trafficking. While the law-abiding cops were busy following the procedure during the three days, the offenders used the time for an easy escape.
“Acting on Madhavan’s statement, we co-ordinated with Amraiwadi police to search for the place where other kids are said to be kept in detention. But couldn’t locate the place or the accused. We have carried out investigation under the guidance of JCP, sector II, Atul Karwal and DCP (zone six) Manindersing Pawar. We have lodged complaint against Raju and Murli. We have also filed a complaint against Madhavan’s parents who, as the boy claims, sold him to Murli,” said Vatva inspector G P Chauhan.
Madhavan was brought to Civil Hospital in an unconscious state on January 12. Since he only spoke Tamil, a volunteer Hitesh Vaghela took him home where his neighbour the Giramanis, a Tamilian family, took care of the child and helped trace his village and family.
Vatva PSI let off Raju
Earlier, the kid had refused to go with Raju, who identified himself as his uncle, when he went to take the boy’s custody from the Giramanis. A scared Madhavan had briefed the family that Raju used to issue death threats to him and other children like him if they refused to steal. Though the Tamilian family brought this fact to Vatva sub-inspector M M Parmar’s notice, the sub-inspector didn’t take any action when Raju went to the police station to again claim Madhavan’s custody as his ‘uncle’. The PSI let off Raju apparently to provide him time to furnish his identity proof.
On January 19, when Mirror tried to trace the whereabouts of Raju, his lawyer Jayesh Sharma informed that he had gone to Tamil Nadu to bring Madhavan’s parents. But till the last report came in, the cops were unable to locate Raju. Though Mirror’s January 20 report showed the CCTV clippings of Raju looking for Madhavan at Civil Hospital, the police apparently failed to gauge the situation indicating involvement of a child trafficking gang in the case.
Child trafficking overlooked
Vatva police was reportedly more keen on uniting Madhavan with his family than catching Raju ‘uncle’. One of the delays in filing a case against Raju and Murli was the cops’ reluctance to consider ‘eight-year-old’ boy’s statement, saying that Raju used to issue threats to kids and force them into crime. It was only after the intervention of Joint Commissioner of Police, sector II, Atul Karwal, that the Vatva police lodged a non-cognisable complaint in the case. However, when Mirror contacted a few advocates and Childline, an NGO, they opined that the statement of an eight-year-old child can be considered and even a case can be registered against the person concerned.
Raju, the alleged kingpin of the child trafficking, has been reportedly running a well-organised racket in the city. Fearing that Madhavan, who had escaped from his clutches, could expose him, Raju had made desperate attempts to trace him. He had visited Civil Hospital along with his lawyer looking for him. Raju had approached the Giramanis to bring Madhavan back and had even visited Vatva police station to stake his claim on the Tamil boy.
“Madhavan’s case is not first of its kind. Many children like him, who hail from Southen India, are often sent to observation home after being caught for stealing. But so far no direct link has been established as to who pushes these young minds into crime,” said Observation Home Superintendent Mayank Trivedi.
Sources meanwhile mentioned that the recent instance only exposed the offender’s well co-ordinated efforts to push the child into the world of crime. “There could be several child like Madhavan in Raju’s clutches, ” said a source in Vatva police.
Training to escape cops’ action
“The gang would not only train the children in stealing but also provide them tips to escape police action if caught. Madhavan said that they were taught to behave in a mentally disturbed manner to evade arrest if caught while committing a theft,” ACP, K division, J T Rana said.
“Madhavan disclosed that his cousin Chinna Rasu, who was brought to the city prior to him, used to protect him from Raju’s anger. Chinna Rasu would steal and give a portion to Madhavan so the kid could escape beating, for not doing his job. Madhavan told that Raju would give Rs 100 to Chinna Rasu for the stolen articles. We have booked the accused under IPC section of 342, the Juvenile Justice ACT and also charged with illegal detention,” said the ACP.
No accused can slip: DCP
“Madhavan’s statement is crucial in the case. We have talked to Madurai police who have said that child trafficking gang is active in Southern India and kids are sent to far-off places and pushed them into stealing and begging. The boy said that he was sold by his parents to Murli who brought him to the city and handed him over to Raju. We have initiated the process to bring Madhavan’s parents here,” said DCP (zone six) Manindersing Pawar.
“The child’s claim that his parents sold him will be ascertained only after his parents arrival. The racket seems to be operational from Madurai. But no accused can slip in this case,” Pawar assured.
It was the initiative of Civil Hospital Medical Superintendent M M Prabhakar who requested JCP sector II Atul Karwal to look into the matter that put the case on right track. “I am happy for Madhavan. There could be more kids like him who are victim of child trafficking. We need to rescue them,” Prabhakar said.
“We want a safe future for Madhavan. The other children in Raju’s net need to be freed soon,” said Satyaraj Giramani.