435 children rescued in Chennai in 15 days, police say

The children, who were begging or wandering about, were rescued under a special operation launched by the city police recently

Special teams of the city police conducted an operation and rescued 435 children: 361 boys and 74 girls, who were wandering about and begging at various places in the city, within a span of 15 days.

The children were produced before the Child Welfare Committees in Chennai, Chengalpattu and Tiruvallur and are now in government child care institutions.

On February 1, City Police Commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal, launched the special initiative, under the name ‘Operation Smile – 2021’ to trace missing children and rescue children in need of care and protection within the city police jurisdiction. H. Jayalakshmi, Deputy Commissioner of Police, special wing for crime against women and children, said, “As part of the initiative, 24 special teams were formed with police officers, Labour Department officials, Child Welfare Committees, Child Line and other stakeholders. The operation was carried out in full swing until February 15.”

Some of the rescued children were two boys from Coimbatore, one girl from Villupuram, one girl from Ramanathapuram and one girl from Muthapudhupet and a boy from Madurai.

A special team also received information about a child marriage at Porur and acted swiftly, preventing it, on February 4. Another child marriage was prevented the next day in Korattur with the assistance of the District Social Welfare Officer and the rescued children were sent to government homes after they were provided with counselling and other legal assistance.

The police commissioner appreciated the performance of the 24 special teams.

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