Rape cases first, drive against begging mafia later
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A flood of DNA samples relating to rape cases has forced authorities in Madhya Pradesh to suspend for the time being a separate drive — also involving testing DNA samples — to eliminate the child-begging racket in the state.
Every year, thousands of children go missing from the state, some of them ending up begging on the streets. This prompted the police to begin a campaign to check if women who use infants and children while begging are actually their biological mothers.
The police had collected a few samples from women begging with children and sent them to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Sagar in November. However, even before the first samples could be examined, the Delhi gangrape case dictated new priorities.
The government came up with a slew of measures for speedy disposal of rape cases. Though there is a laboratory each in Bhopal, Indore and Gwalior, DNA tests are carried out only at the main laboratory in Sagar, which was asked to quickly analyse pending samples.
Given the limited staff, the Sagar laboratory found itself stretched to dispose of 350 rape-related samples. Director in-charge M K Varma said though a deadline for analysing DNA samples can't be set, the laboratory is doing its best to cope with the rush.
Additional DGP M R Krishna said all SPs have been asked not to send any more samples relating to begging because priorities have changed in the wake of the Delhi case. He admitted that none of the samples meant to rescue toddlers from women who use them for begging had been analysed. He said the campaign had not been called off, only suspended.
Between January 2008 and February 2013, 29,828 minor girls went missing in the state and as many as 4,990 of them are yet to be found. In the same five-year period, 7,306 minor girls were raped.
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