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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Dreadful numbers for Children in Odisha. The State saw 7 girl children kidnapped and 5 girls gone missing every day in year 2018.

Such alarming numbers tumble out for Odisha in the recently released NCRB report 2018. The 2019 count of missing girl children are also not enthusing. Provisional data for the year shows over 822 girls have gone missing.

Disconcerting trend observed is like 2018, the recovery rate in 2019 has been very abysmal.

While the NCRB report 2018 released recently had put the recovery rate of missing children in Odisha at mere 32.6 per cent, second lowest in country. The rate count dropped further in 2019 to mere around 19 per cent, reveals the provisional data with State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB).  

Coming to NCRB 2018 report, the big terrible number it revealed is a massive 2,787 missing children in Odisha were deemed as kidnapped in the year. The count is a big jump, when the numbers stood at 696 in 2017.  This big numbers hints at child trafficking at work in Odisha.

As per the report, Odisha saw a whopping 3,132 child kidnappings in 2018. Every day, State recorded kidnapping of over 7 girl child in the year. The count of girl children kidnapped in 2018 stood at 2,665. The numbers gave Odisha a dubious distinction as it ranked number 3 in the country.

The ominous trend observed is as many as 83 girl children were procured for deploying them in illicit activities. In contrast, the number stood at mere 1 in 2017.  Besides, another 75 girls were kidnapped for the reason of compelling them for marriage, which is nearly equivalent to the count of 81 in 2017.

The data analysis hints why the sexual assaults on girl children are rising in Odisha in last few years. The increased counts of missing children deemed as kidnapped, compelling for marriage and procuring for illegal activities allude to organised gangs at work in State.

As far as missing girl children is concerned, as on January 1, 2020, the whereabouts of as high as 3,157 girls are unknown. The NCRB report showed as many as five girl children went missing in year 2018. The 2019 provisional data puts the count at around 3 every day.

Why downturn in tracing rate? The high tracing rate in 2017 was attributed to success of Operation Muskan in 2016. The tracing rate in 2017 had touched around 84 per cent from mere 20 per cent in 2014. The free fall in tracing rate in 2018 and 2019 raises questions on success of Operation Paree, as claimed by State Police.

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