w42It  is  of  course  an  anxious situation for a family if a member goes missing  be  the person a minor or adult. However, according to records, more than one thousand people including minors and adults go missing every year in the state and they include both male and female population. Although it is not so easy task to find out a missing person, still Missing Persons Bureau of CID does this stupendous job.

Consider the case of a 17-year old girl who was reported missing from her house in Champaberia under Bongaon Police Station in North 24 Parganas from 11August 2016. Her missing information was disseminated in a vernacular newspaper as well as television after her family members lodged a missing diary and later an FIR. Acting on a tip of, the  team  of  Missing Persons Bureau (MPB) with the assistance of OC, Panskura raided the premise at a village in Panskura in East Midnapore where the girl was kept and subsequently rescued on 21 October in the same year. The minor girl was rescued within two months.

Similarly  another minor  girl aged about 13years of Sajinatala, PO-Moatgram, PS-Basanti, Dist-South 24-Parganas was reported missing from Canning railway station since 2 August 2016. She was waiting to  catch  a  train  for going to school. But an estranged woman sat beside her and started conversation in a very familiar tone. The poverty stricken minor girl agreed to go with the estranged lady when she promised her a quality life. In the mean time MPB officials received a call from an unknown cell phone number.  The  women  voice informed the CID official that the said girl was travelling near Farraka. Following a missing diary and FIR, missing information was disseminated through print and electronic media. Receiving a call from an unknown number, MPB officials tracked down call details of the mobile number which confirmed Farakka as the location. The CID officials with the help of Officer-in-Charge of Farakka Police Station recovered the missing girl who was forced to work as a domestic help at the residence of that estranged lady. MPB officials of CID handed over the girl to her parents following due process in the court and registered a  case  against  the estranged lady for her misdeed.

The Missing Persons Bureau restored a boy to his mother who was kept in a child care home at Katni in Madhya Pradesh. The boy,  who  left home on 4.8.2015, was subsequently rescued by Madhya Pradesh Police and was kept at Shri Shankar Saraswati Shiksha Samiti, Katni. Police contacted his mother at her house in Uttar Ramnagar under Ayushgram Police Station in Burdwan district for bringing back her child. However, she expressed her inability to bring her son from Madhya Pradesh because of financial hardship. The boy was brought to Burdwan and was handed over to his mother with the help of Children Welfare Committee (CWC) Burdwan. In many other cases also the MPB restored all rescued persons to their homes after contacting their parents and other immediate family members.

w43The Missing Persons Bureau of Criminal Investigation Department, West Bengal is the nodal agency to keep records of the missing persons in the state and coordinate with the appropriate authorities  for recovery and subsequent rehabilitation in their respective families. Being the nodal agency for Missing Children Tracking Portal (MCTP), it uses the same portal www.trackthemissingchild.gov.in for maintaining records of all missing and found persons, which can be partly used by the members of the public. It also supervises the functioning of Missing Children Tracking Portal (MCTP) at district level.

The functions of MPB are to keep records and prepare statistics of missing persons and publish information  and photographs of missing persons in the Criminal Intelligence Gazette. It takes steps for wide circulation of missing person’s information through various news media and makes arrangement for rehabilitation of recovered/found children. MPB also assists  police  of different districts for identification of unidentified bodies. This unit makes correspondence with CID of other states whenever necessary. It also undertakes the matter of child adoption for wide  publicity  through TV, radio and print media.

According to Special Superintendent of CID, Syed Waker Raza, “the MPB rescues missing children and adults on a regular basis. It also acts as the nodal agency to provide training on related issues to the various police units and coordinates with other states to bring/send rescued children back to their homes. These are important functions of this unit of CID which also keeps records and prepares statistics of the entire gamut of the situation.”

According to statistic of MPB, out of 33,517 missing persons, 20,101 including 12,261 women of different age groups were rescued during 2016. A total of 26,181 persons were rescued in 2015 out of the total 35,517 missing person  during the year. The MPB organises workshops-cum-training program for all nodal officers of all districts. It sometimes takes help of the officials of National Informatics Centre (NIC) for holding training to the district level regarding new formation of the Missing Children Tracking Portal’s second version. Respective officials, data entry operator and child welfare officers of every police station are also trained to upload  data  at  the  portal since 2015.

Aparna Sarkar, OC, MPB