Punjab Police informed the Supreme Court here on Thursday that 139 children are still missing out of 6,793 children kidnapped from various cities of Punjab during the last six years.
The court was holding proceedings of suo motu notice taken against increasing number of children kidnapping in Punjab.
According to the police report, 2,072 children were kidnapped from various cities of Punjab during year 2011 but out of these children only 1,264 children were recovered.
In 2012, 1,260 children were kidnapped out of which 1,156 children were recovered, said the report. It said in 2013, 1,156 were kidnapped but only six children were yet to be recovered and in 2014, 1,203 children were abducted and 1,185 children were recovered.
The report said that 1,134 children were kidnapped during the last year and the police recovered 1,093 children.
The police officer said most of the children were kidnapped from Lahore, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur and Bahawal Nagar and majority of them were recovered from railways stations and inter-city bus stops.
He also said that abducted children were between the age of six and 15. The official further said that special teams had been constituted for the recovery of children.
According to the police report, 2016 is the worst year for children as 52 children have been abducted during this year.
It said on average, about 1,464 cases are registered across the province each year, and the most of those children had either returned home or had been found by institutions such as Child Protection and Welfare Bureau, Edhi, or police.
Data shows that at least 98 percent children about whom cases were registered have been re-united with their families.
The report said that children who were abducted, leave home, run away, or go missing were reported to police invariably as ‘abducted’, and police registers a criminal case.
But, most of these children either return home on their own or welfare institutions and/or police find them and re-unite them with their parents.
It further submitted that many factors had been identified for children leaving home or gone missing, in which parents’ harsh behaviours as the top factor behind running away of children from the homes.
Police report said that 44 children were kidnapped from Lahore, 18 from Rawalpindi, eight from Sheikhpura, four from Okara, three from Sialkot, three from Faisalabad, three from Sargodha, two from Bahawalpur, two from Pakpattan, one from Kasur, one from Gujranwala, one from Hafizabad, one from Khushab, one from Sahiwal and one from Rahim Yar Khan.
Police said that social-economic factors were responsible for missing/run away children. At this, the court observed that it was very sensitive report and they would get into the bottom of it as to why it happened and how.
The court remarked that it is responsibility of the state to provide protection to the citizens therefore it directed the police to complete investigation and submit reply on the next hearing on August 3.
The Court also directed parents of the children to appear in the court on the next hearing. -Business Recorder