781 Punjab girls go missing in 10 years
Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
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Patiala, February 24
Despite Punjab Government’s tall claims to save girl child, the plight of girls in the state remains pathetic. More than 700 girls have been reported missing in the state over the past 10 years. As no special efforts were made to trace them by successive governments, there is still no clue to them. In a country known for increasing cases of flesh trade and human trafficking, the revelations are startling.
Replying to an RTI query filed by president of the Society for Welfare and Awareness Patiala, Karamjit Singh Jattana, the crime wing of the Punjab Police has admitted that more than 700 girls went missing between January 1, 1999, and July 31, 2010.
In all, 781 girls have gone missing as per police records gathered from 23 police districts of the state and the Government Railway Police, Punjab.
Maximum number of girls (153) have gone missing from Jalandhar, followed by Roopnagar (97), Ludhiana (96), SAS Nagar (66), Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (58) and Ferozepur (41). “It is startling to know that all these districts have been sitting on these files and in majority of the cases they are yet to register an FIR and only daily diary reports (DDRs) have been filed,” said Jattana.
Sources in the Police Department said while many of these girls might have eloped with their lovers, many could have been forcibly pushed into flesh trade.
The RTI reply further highlights the fact that other than writing to the state police headquarters, no help was ever sought by the district police from the Central Government.
“Almost all, barring a couple of the districts have accepted that they took no help from the Central Government in tracing the girls missing from their districts,” reads the RTI reply.
Interestingly, not a single police officer was held responsible for negligence in the entire state.