Maharashtra government mulls special task force to curb child trafficking

Mumbai: The Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government will consider setting up a special task force to curb child trafficking, Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil told the state Legislative Council on Wednesday. The minister was replying a question by Shiv Sena member Neelam Gorhe on the arrest of three persons from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in April for alleged child trafficking.

Three persons, including a woman, were arrested from CSIA before they were about to board a flight to Paris. Police suspect that they were part of a racket trafficking children to Europe. Patil said since 2014 the traffickers have been taking advantage of certain relaxations in police verification for issuing passports to minors. He said Interpol’s help is being sought to ascertain the location of  minors who have been trafficked to European nations and bring them back.

“The government will also consider formation of a special task force to prevent child trafficking in future,” he said. He said that the state government will  suggest to the Centre to increase the quantum of punishment for those caught indulging in child trafficking. “We will also discuss the issue with the Law and Judiciary department to ascertain if child traffickers can be booked under the MCOCA Act, that will ensure they do not secure bail easily,” the minister said.

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