JANAKPUR, June 4: On May 24, Nine-year-old Karan Sah of Pragatinagar was abducted from near house where he was playing. The son of Shambhu Sah was abducted by his neighbor Bikash Sharma, an Indian national who was living in a rented room in the same locality.
After taking Karan to Ghantaghar in Birgunj, Sharma hired an auto-rickshaw to take him to an undisclosed location. Karam was found dead two hours after he went missing. According to police, he was stifled to death by three individuals.
Similarly, a toddler of Dhalkewar in Mithila Municipality-6 was kidnapped by a neighbor on May 6. Two-and-a-half-year-old Samir Sah, the son of Shambhu Sah, was abducted by his neighbor Shatrughan Mahato while he was playing in front of his home.
Mahato, who had been practicing witchcraft since the last two years, killed the young child in his own front yard at 2 am by slitting his throat. He later gave a statement to the police saying that the child was sacrificed to appease the gods.
On the same day, 12-year-old Laxman Yadav was kidnapped in Saptari. He was kidnapped while attending a wedding ceremony. With the help of family members and police, Laxman was found safe in Shivahar of Bihar in India. A neighbor's involvement was confirmed in this abduction as well.
In yet another case, 11-year-old Reshma Rasaili, a local of Mithila Municipality-3, Dhanusha was kidnapped in a similar fashion from a wedding ceremony. She was taken to a sugarcane field some 200 meters away from the place the same night where she was raped and subsequently murdered.
In this case too, a neighbour's involvement was found behind the crime.
Likewise, on October 13 last year, 10-year-old Manisha Kumari Yadav, a local of Aurahi Rural Municipality-2, Dhanusha was kidnapped from a local fair which was held on the occasion of Durga Puja. Two locals from the village took her away to an isolated field where she was raped and then murdered. Neighbors, once again, were charged for the crime.
On August 27 last year, an eight-month-old infant was abducted from Aurahi Rural Municipality-1 Mahottari. Her body was found the next day near the bordering Bhangaha Municipality.
Ankit Sah, the son of Lalan Prasad Sah, a local of Jitpur Simara Sub-metropolitan City 7, Bara, was kidnapped on June 5. The abductors, who had demanded a ransom of Rs 1.5 million, killed the child after collecting the amount.
These are just a few representative cases of the rampant child abductions happening in Province 2. Including these cases, around 2 dozen children have been victims of child abuse, and over half a dozen were found to have been murdered immediately.
Provincial police chief Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Hari Bahadur Pal said that the series of violence against children is an example of rising social ill.
“Children have had to lose their lives sometimes because of superstition and other times because of family grudges,” Pal said adding, “Police have been deployed day and night to in an attempt to reduce the number of crimes.”
Police are firm on taking stern action against such crimes and are actively involved in organizing public awareness campaigns.
“We have initiated the community police partnership to spread awareness against such crimes, ensure that criminals are booked, and to discourage alcoholism,” Pal said.
“What else can be a better than to make the society aware to reduce crimes?” he questioned.