Thiruvananthapuram: Even as fake reports on children going missing are being widely circulated on social media platforms, the Kerala Police claimed that 98 per cent of the children, who went missing from the state last year, were traced. Alarmingly, incidents of crime against children in the state are increasing every year, the police stated.
The police pointed out that 1,271 boys (below the age of 18) and 1,071 girls were reported missing in 2019. Of this, 1,240 boys and 1,050 girls were traced. Most of these children leave their homes due to mental stress. Among those who could not be traced are children who went missing during natural disasters and those who ran away from children's homes.
Several messages are circulating on WhatsApp on child-lifting by begging mafia and migrants. However, the police said that no such incidents were reported in the state recently.
While pointing out that Keralites were named as accused in most of the cases, the police said that people should be alert and not apprehensive.
While 589 cases of crimes against children were reported in 2005, the number rose to 4,453 cases in 2019.
In 2005, 720 kids fell prey to abuse, and the figure rose to 1,313 in 2019. The numbers have seen steady increase with 958 children being abused in 2016; 1,045 in 2017 and 1,137 in 2018.
Thirty-nine children were murdered in 2015, 33 in 2016 and 20 in 2019. Four children were abducted in 2005. Eleven children were kidnapped in both 2018 and 2019.
The police presented these figures during a state-level child rights' meet organised by Indian Association of Paediatrics.