'Govt turns blind eye to trafficking of children from Lambani thandas'
Bangalore, Feb 13, 2014, DHNS:
Even as trafficking of children, especially those belonging to the Lambani community, has substantially increased across Karnataka, enquiry reports on the issue have not come out in the public.
Speaking to reporters on the issue here on Tuesday, social activist Nagalaxmi Bai alleged that the State government not only turned a blind eye to the issue, but also failed to make two inquiry reports on child trafficking public. She further said some children from Mookanapalya, Kolipalya and Veeraiahpura in Punajanur village panchayath limits, Chamarajnagar taluk were trafficked.
“Innocent children are falling prey to mafias, in which even some high and mighty are involved. A famous film actor, an MLA from Andhra Pradesh, wife of a senior IPS officer and some middlemen are involved but the government is not keen to protect child rights,” said Bai.
She said that since the last 14 years, minor girls, sometimes newborns, majority of whom belong to the Lambani community, were trafficked to other parts of the country. The latest reports suggest that some children from a few thandas of Chamarajnagar were trafficked through middlemen.
“Superstition and poverty should be blamed for these tragic incidents. There is a need to sensitise the Lambani community,” added Bai.
Talking about various incidents of trafficking, she mentioned the case of a 15-day-old baby girl from Kolipalya born to Anand Naik and Sumithra, who was trafficked via Tamil Nadu. Some local residents and women activists thwarted the bid to traffic another girl child belonging to Basava Naik and Padma Bai.
A couple also sold their child in Mookanapalya the day she was born, she grieved. Bai pointed to a vicious network of child traffickers in Karnataka. She said that way back in 2002, she had written a book, “Babies On Sale”, containing information on the trafficking of 1,800 children from 125 thandas of Gulbarga district who were smuggled out to different parts of the country and abroad with fake documents. She added that presently children are smuggled abroad through Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Bai had filed a Public Interest Litigation earlier also and the government had assured to initiate action. However, the submission made by the government was never implemented.
Advocate Umapathi who was also present said, “The government is attracting contempt of court by not initiating any action. It is sitting on two enquiry reports, which have not been made public even after 12 years.”