Brahmapur (BAM): The railway station in Berhampur seems to be the transit point for child traffickers.
As many as 270 children were rescued recently by Childline activists and government railway police (GRP) here while they were being trafficked to other states. Most of the rescued children are teenage girls and from Kandhamal, Gajapati and Ganjam districts, said director of NGO ISRD-Childline Sudhir Sabat.
“Acting on a tip-off, the child rights campaigners with the help of GRP personnel raided trains and railway stations to foil trafficking bid. In some cases, the traffickers escaped from the spot,” he added.
On May 20, the campaigners rescued 16 teenagers. Five of them were from Kandhamal, while others were from Cuttack and Dhenkanal districts. The GRP arrested four persons, including three women, for trafficking the girls to Samalkot and Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh promising them jobs in different firms, said co-ordinator of Childline, Berhampur, Prabhu Prasad Patra.
Similarly on June 6, police rescued four children from the bus stand at Daringbadi in Kandhamal district, while they were waiting for a bus to come to Berhampur railway station from where they would have taken a train to Mumbai. Police arrested a person from Jharkhand. The railway station has emerged as a major transit point because it has good road connectivity with Gajapati and Kandhamal districts. They come here in buses to catch trains for Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Andhra Pradesh, the campaigners said.
An anti-human trafficking unit should be set up at Berhampur railway station to crack down on child traffickers, said Sabat. At present, one unit is operating in the police headquarters of every district. “Acting on inputs, the team from the unit rushed to different places to rescue the trafficked children and also to foil the attempt of trafficking,” said a senior police officer.