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Fear of child lifting not completely 'unfounded', 55,000 children kidnapped in 2016 in India

Monday, July 09, 2018
By Achinta Borah

New Delhi: It seems that the fear of child lifting prevailing in different parts of the country is not completely unfounded, as nearly 55,000 children were kidnapped in India in 2016 -- a whopping 30 per cent increase over the previous year.

According to the 2017-18 report of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), 54,723 children were kidnapped in 2016 but charge sheets were filed in only 40.4 per cent of the cases.

The conviction rate in child kidnapping and abduction cases in 2016 was a dismal 22.7 per cent.

As many as 41,893 such incidents were recorded in 2015 and 37,854 in 2014. The figures for 2017 are yet to be published.

"Even though most of the lynchings in the recent past were fuelled by rumours of child lifting on social media, the statistics show that the fear of child kidnapping among people, especially those in the rural areas, is not completely unfounded," a ministry official said.

On Thursday, the Home Ministry had asked the states and Union territories (UTs) to check incidents of mob lynching fuelled by rumours of child-lifting on social media.

More than 20 people have been lynched over the last two months on suspicion of child lifting, the latest being the killing of five men in Maharashtra's Dhule district on July 1.

In an advisory, the ministry had urged the states and UTs to "keep a watch for early detection of rumours of child-lifting and initiate effective measures to counter them".

The MHA report also revealed that 8,132 cases of human trafficking were registered in the country in 2016.

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