Disturbing trend: Criminal gangs now recruiting kids
New Delhi: Children living on the streets are the most vulnerable group of the society, regularly exploited by criminals for committing crimes near railway platforms.
The revelation was made during a recent investigation of a case, where a criminal was arrested for recruiting teenagers to commit petty crimes.
According to a senior police official, on June, one Sunil Bihari from Pandav Nagar was arrested for running a gang comprising children for committing petty crimes, such as pick-pocketing, theft and snatching.
During investigation, the children were found to be living on the streets, picking rags from different railway stations. The accused used to lure them on the pretext of easy money.
Police said that the arrest was made by team of Crime Branch, and the accused told investigators that the gang is operating across the Delhi-Mumbai railway network. Cops added that the gang members are also involved in drug trafficking.
"Usually, the accused would recruit teenagers in his gang to commit crimes in moving trains and in the area around platforms," police said.
Recently, Shahdara district police had busted another gang that trained kids for committing crime in the Capital. Police arrested six persons in the case.
An investigator claimed that they found that seven members of this large gang were recruited by the kingpin when they were minors.
"The gang used to target children from areas where parental supervision was far less. During further investigation, we came to know that the accused also hired street children, as we found that a 17-year-old member of the gang was a street child," said the police official.
The Standing Operating Procedure, formulated by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, states that most of street connected children are vulnerable to emotional, physical and sexual abuse, due to lack of secure shelter and adult supervision.
Children on the streets are often called 'hidden children', as they have no concrete identity. Being hidden, they are at a higher risk of being abused, exploited and neglected.