SC asks Chhattisgarh govt to think about those mothers whose children go missing
RAIPUR: Talking tough on the indifferent approach of
Chhattisgarh government towards its missing children, the Supreme Court on
Thursday pulled up its top officials for submitting a wrong affidavit in the
matter. The Chief Justice HL Dattu told the officials that they must think
about “the mothers whose children have gone missing”.
While the Central government had told the parliament
in August that the number of untraced children from 2011-2013 in Chhattisgarh
was 3129, the state on Thursday informed the apex court that the number stood
nearly three times lesser at 1204.
Following a petition by Bachpan Bachao Andolan that
child trafficking is rampant in Chhattisgarh, the Supreme Court had asked the
state government to file a status report in this regard.
Chhattisgarh’s DGP AN Upadhyaya and Acting Chief
Secretary DS Misra on Thursday submitted the affidavit only to be strongly
rebuked by the court.
The court gave them time till November 13 to file an
additional affidavit and told them that it would not be appropriate if they
submit such affidavit again. “What if the children of officials go missing,”
the court said.
“The Central government has already told the
parliament in August this year that the number of missing children in
Chhattisgarh is 3129. There is a huge discrepancy between that figure and the
data submitted by the government today. It cannot be the case that they
recovered all these children in two months. If that had been the situation,
they must have informed the court,” Bachpan Bachao Andolan’s Bhuvan Ribhu said.
“We are not talking about numbers but human lives.
Each child is important and his missing must be accounted for,” he said, adding
that according to the NCRB figures, 436 children have gone missing in
Chhattisgarh up to May this year only.
“The petitioner has alleged some discrepancy between
our data and the figures presented in the Rajya Sabha. The court has given us
time to reconcile to the figure. We will submit a fresh affidavit,” said a
senior official of the Chhattisgarh government.
The tribal areas of North Chhattisgarh comprising
Surguja, Balrampur and Jashpur report high incidences of missing children. They
are trafficked to metro cities where they are subjected to various forms of