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How children are lured away in Delhi: Foiling a kidnapping


New Delhi: But for the alertness of a battery-rickshaw driver, two small boys of a residential society in Dwarka, in west Delhi, would have been kidnapped last week. In a worrying account of how easily child kidnappers are able to strike, two boys, aged seven and nine, were being quietly whisked away by a young man who had won their confidence over the period of a week of sitting and observing them in the playground in Dwarka’s Sector 22.


The kidnapper, who was thrashed by residents of DDA-SFS Flats and handed over to police last Thursday, had entered the colony posing as a driver of one of the house owners. He would sit in the bench and observe the children as they played. When questioned, he coolly showed a pair of car keys and cited the flat number of his “employer”. All the information seemed proper. And all the while he was eyeing the playing children. He picked out two of the children for the kidnap.

On Thursday evening, he approached the two boys with promise of treating them to ice cream and they willingly went with him outside, having seen and chatted with him over the week. He had become familiar to them like other friendly drivers or domestic helps who sit around the park.

The young man took the boys to a nearby Mother Diary milk booth, just a few meters away, to treat them to ice cream, after which he hailed a battery rickshaw in order to “drop them back home”. But he told the rickshaw driver to go towards the metro station. It is here that Karamveer Singh, the rickshaw driver, noticed something wrong. “The two boys seemed scared,” Singh told IANS later. “The man was telling them, come fast, your papa is waiting for you’.”

The kidnapper alighted at a red light along with the children and said he preferred to walk it. Karamveer then drove up to him and asked where he was taking the children.”The kidnapper told me to mind my own business. I said if the children’s papa has asked you to take them to the Metro then show me your phone. But his phone was switched off, adding to my suspicions.”

“He told me; “Bhaiya, the father of one boys is coming to fetch them’. I asked the nine year old to give me his father’s number and I called him. All through I kept a firm grip on the hand of the man.”When I called the father, he was shocked, and said he had never made such a call. He was in Gurgaon at the time.”

“I hailed another battery rickshaw, sat along with the two kids, and got the man to sit in front of me, holding tightly on to his hand. I had checked his pocket and found an ustara (long blade for shaving), with which he had scared the children into coming with him,” said Karamveer. “I took them to Sector 22 and after I reached their society, I beat him soundly. The father and sister of the seven-year-old were at the gate, waiting anxiously for the boy to return. They did not know where he had gone,” he said.

Karamveer was rewarded by the grateful residents of the housing society at a function on Independence Day and given a token amount as reward. Delhi Police said it is planning to give Karamveer a recommendation for his alertness and bravery and also present him with a cash reward.

“We are in coordination with the RWA of the area and planning to provide some cash reward to Karamveer for his brave act. He and some others like him will be rewarded soon,” Deputy Commissioner of Police, R.A. Sanjeev. He said the accused, Manish Rajput, 23, had been sent to Tihar Jail.

In his interrogation before police, Rajput mentioned that he had managed to get a driving license and wanted to work as a driver.Though the two boys were fortunate in being saved by the alert Karamveer, there are many other children not so lucky.

As per data compiled by Delhi Police, a total of 8,739 children went missing in the national capital in the last one year. A total of 5,307 were recovered by police, while 2,197 are still missing. The remaining 3,110 children were recovered by child welfare agencies, including NGOs.

Police data says that most of the trafficked children aged between 1-3 years are sold to childless couples while others are forced into the sex trade and as servants in homes or labor in factories. “Some of the children are kidnapped for ransom, while a few aged between 9-15 left their houses on their own due to some family issues or in search of job,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch), Ravindra Yadav.

Yadav said that Delhi Police has been running “Operation Milap”, a drive launched in 2014 by their Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, to reunite missing children with their families.


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Online Games: What Risks Do They Pose To Children?

Additionally, parents should monitor their children’s gaming habits closely to ensure that they do not fall victim of any cybercrimes

MBA, online training, skills, computer
Sitting at a computer with jutting head forward to look more closely at the screen compresses the neck and can cause fatigue, headaches.

Taking a step back, kids used to gather around in the field to get to enjoy their creative games such as soccer. Not to say that they do not do this today, but to say that they have alternative pastime games to play such as Caillou games– thanks to the internet. Digital technology has indeed made waves in the gaming industry. And children are now able to access online games quickly. Like any other invention, there is always two sides of the coin; the good and the bad. In as much as playing online games is beneficial, there are also some risks that they pose to your children. Let’s dig deeper into some of these risks;

  1. Addiction

Perhaps this is one of the main dangers that children are exposed to when playing online games. Online gaming brought a lot of conveniences as the games are easily accessible. As such, without necessary restrictions being taken by the parent, a child can easily fall to gaming addiction. Setting time limits is a considerable measure to be taken as it ensures that your child doesn’t get hooked. Secondly, parents should also monitor their children’s gaming habits. Some of the warning signs of addiction include a child always being on their phones, withdrawing from family members, sudden changes of behaviors and so on.

  1. Cyberbullying

It is quite unfortunate that children are at the risk of being bullied even in the online space. Sometimes when your child is playing against other players, they may receive threatening messages which instil fear in them. Sometimes, they are even threatened to be killed if they tell their parents about it. However, as aforementioned, it is vital for parents to monitor the gaming habits of their children. If you notice any sudden changes in their behaviour, it is good to talk to your child to find out what is going on. Additionally, upon the realization that your child is a victim of cyberbullying, you can either report the issue or block the block bully.

  1. Malware

Viruses slowly creep in console devices, tablets or even through smartphones. Therefore, parents need to be very keen on the types of games their child is downloading. Some of them come in as links and the moment the kid clicks it; the virus gets into your computer. And oftentimes, before you get to realise that your device is malware-infected, the virus will have already done a lot of damage. Therefore, it is crucial first to install anti-virus software. Significantly more,  lock the play store by setting a password so that your kids don’t download any game without their consent.

online games
Representational image. Pixabay
  1. Privacy issues

Parents need to start gaming conversations as soon as they realize their children are getting interested in online games. Let them know that they need to take care of themselves in the online space. Also, inform them that they should never use their real names on this accounts and neither should they share any information with any gamer on the site. Sharing their personal information is one way that cybercriminals use to manipulate your kids and threaten them. And to avoid this, it is best to take the necessary precautions.

  1. Health risks

We cannot neglect the fact that there are a number of health risks associated with continuous gaming. For one, if a child spends too much time seated in front of the computer, they might start complaining about back pains, neck pains, fatigue and eyesight problems. However, all these can be avoided by ensuring that children don’t spend too much time in front of the computer and secondly by making sure they have a comfortable gaming setting.

Also Read: Chennai-Based Security Researcher Wins $30,000 after He Spotted Flaw in Instagram

  1. Sexual exploitation

Sometimes, when a child is looking for online games to download, they might stumble upon games that have some sexual content. If not keen enough, the child might get introduced to sexual content and pornographic materials at a very early stage. Also, there have been a lot of cases where malicious people start chatting with children only for them to begin exploiting them sexually. Watch out for such!

Take Away

As children start gaming online, parents should talk to them about the risks too. Additionally, parents should monitor their children’s gaming habits closely to ensure that they do not fall victim of any cybercrimes.