12 minor girls deployed at Cashew units rescued, owners booked

Berhampur: About 12 minor girls were rescued from two cashew processing units in Ganjam district during ‘Operation Muskan’ and the owners of the factories were arrested for allegedly engaging children in hazardous work, police said today.

As the cashew processing unit is categorized as hazardous under the Child Labour Prohibition Act, the two men were arrested for deploying about 12 minor girls, aged between 10 to 14 years, in their factories at Khallikote, police said.

The owners were booked under section 370 of IPC (buying or disposing of any person as slave) and section 26 of Juvenile Justice Act (protection to child employees), police said.

The girls were rescued by the police yesterday during ‘Operation Muskan’ which aims at rescuing children, DSP(crime) Subash Acharya said.

A total 91 teenagers, including the 12 girls, were rescued in the operation which was launched since Saturday across Ganjam police district.

While the girls were working in the cashew processing units, the boys were working in the hotel, garage, business establishments and shops, he added.