A total of 71 children, all aged between 10-15 years, were disembarked at Vizag railway station on Tuesday from the Vasco da Gama-bound Amravati Express due to miscommunication and lack of proper documents. The children were heading to a madrasa in Hubli town in Karnataka from Howrah in West Bengal when they were disembarked along with other five instructors, by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and officials of the District Child Protection Unit and Childline.
Talking to newsmen at the railway station, District Child Protection Officer A.S. Narayana said someone from Vizianagaram made a call to toll free number 1098 of Childline and informed that over 50 children (suspected to be child labourers) were being transported from Odisha and West Bengal. Based on the call, cops boarded into the train with the support of RPF personnel and GRP personnel and found that 71 children were being taken to Hubli.
The instructors, who accompanied the students, replied that the children were being taken to a madrasa following the end of summer vacations. However, the instructors have failed to produce any valid documents or identity proofs of the children that had raised suspicion that the children were being trafficked, said the RPF personnel.
Later, the officials have coordinated with their counterpart in Hubli and got a confirmation that the children belonged to Madani Mia Arabic College. The children will proceed to Hubli in a train late on Tuesday night and a representative from the Childline will accompany them.