TIMES OF INDIA
JAIPUR: It is a cry for justice for those who have vanished into darkness, probably never to return. A writ petition seeking Rajasthan High Court‘s intervention in tracing a staggering number of people missing from Rajasthan-nearly 10,000 over the past eight years-was filed on Friday.
The petitioner, Krishna Kukkad from one Anti-Social Activities Prevention Society, fears in his petition that many of the missing persons, especially teenaged girls, are likely to have fallen prey to human trafficking gangs.
“However, except lodging missing persons report in a casual manner, nothing has been done seriously to find out the real story behind such large number of missing persons by the state authorities,” the petitioner has said.
He has further pleaded, “the present state of affairs reminds us of the ‘Nithari case’, where many children were reported missing. However, they were found kidnapped and then murdered by one person just below the nose of Noida police in Uttar Pradesh“.
“As per the police records, about 9,400 persons have been reported missing since 2004. Figures are alarming and almost 70 to 80% of missing persons are either children or women. It is quite dreadful,” Kukkad said.
He alleged that state authorities, except in a few highlighted cases, where there is media hype or some persons from the family having high-level connections are kidnapped or missed, had not acted at all.
“One may wonder as to what happens to those children who go missing. Do they fall victim to the child adoption rackets or child kidnappers who would force them join the army of beggars or prostitutes? The percentage of missing children who remain untraced is consistently on the rise in the state,” petitioner’s advocate A K Jain told TOI.
However, the police claim to have undertaken some serious efforts recently. “Earlier, when a person went missing, just a complaint used to be filed. But now instructions have been given to lodge a proper FIR. We keep every details in our records about the missing person including distinct birthmarks and photograph,” said a senior CID, CB officer.
The police department claims to have adopted many new measures to improve the situation. “First, a missing person’s report (MPR) is filed with a particular police station, then the information is sent to all the police stations across the state through radiogram,” he said.
“Then the investigation officer of ASI or SI level goes through all the possibilities where the person could be found. If we fail to trace the person in this way and all the police stations report failure to our headquarters in this regard, we then use the media and other publicity techniques to inform the public about it. Besides, we also inform the police of other states through ZIP NET,” said the officer. The petitioner has made the home secretary and the DGP respondents in the matter. The petition is likely to come up for hearing next week.