76 trafficked children return home in northeast

Imphal, Feb 19 (IANS) Seventy-six children, who were rescued after being allegedly forced into child labour in Tamil Nadu, were brought back to their homes in Manipur and Assam Friday, officials said.

The children, aged between 12 and 14, had been rescued by the Tamil Nadu police from Chennai and Kanyakumari last month. They arrived in Guwahati Thursday evening.

Of the 76 children, 52 were from Manipur and 24 from Haflong in north Cachar hills district in southern Assam.

‘The children from a poor background had been lured away two to three years ago by an unregistered NGO that promised their families better education in the southern metropolis. But they were allegedly forced into child labour and sexual exploitation,’ a police spokesman told reporters.

‘The Assam police and social welfare department of Assam and Manipur in association with the Tamil Nadu police had rescued the children and brought them back to their homes,’ the official said.

POlice officials in Assam and Manipur will talk to the children later to know more about their captivity in Tamil Nadu.

The Tamil Nadu police have arrested three people in connection with the child trafficking and are looking for others involved in the racket.

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