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Madras HC asks govt to set up missing child squad

Madras HC asks govt to set up missing child squad

The Madras High Court today directed the Tamil Nadu government to form a special missing child squad with officers trained in handling such cases.

Passing a fresh order on a habeas corpus petition on missing children, a Division Bench comprising Justices S Nagamuthu and V Bharathidasan said a special unit can be entrusted with the job which could do justice in case of child theft.

“We are anxious. We don’t know whether they are stolen for sale or for their organs,” the judges said.

The bench suggested taking of the thumb and foot prints of all new borns in hospitals across the state, especially in those run by the government, and storage of the data in digital format to enable identification of a missing child when traced.

The petition by NGO Exnora has sought production of two homeless children who went missing while sleeping on a railway platform here.

Expanding on the scope of the petition, the court had earlier asked the government to submit a report on the number of missing children cases and their status. It had also pulled up the authorities for “poor” handling of such cases.

When the matter came up today, the judges directed the government to implement its scheme of providing Rs three lakh compensation to families of children who go missing and remain untraced for more than seven years.

They made it clear that the benefit would be applicable only to children who were stolen and still remain untraced.

The state government had submitted that it had appointed Superintendent of Police S Rajeswari of CB-CID and DSP Raja Srinivasan to exclusively handle missing child cases.

( Source – PTI )

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