The Delhi Police and the task force against child labour conducted the rescue operation in Jamia Nagar area yesterday, said an official of child rights NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), representatives of which also took part in the raid.
He said the police were taking action on the directions of the Delhi High Court to release child labourers working in Jamia Nagar area. “The directions came after a rescue operation by police and BBA in November 2010 went bad when local hooligans and employers had forcibly taken away more than 50 rescued children,” he said.
The BBA had subsequently approached the High Court seeking intervention for the arrest of offenders and recovery of the children. On February 3, the High Court had directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police of the area to rescue the children and apprise the court of the developments.
The Delhi Police and the task force were joined yesterday by more than 30 activists of BBA and Childline and other NGOs working in the area, apart from representatives of the Delhi Legal Services Authority and the All India Legal Aid Cell on Child Rights.
“26 children were rescued and eight employers detained by police. The children were in the age group of 8-15 years. Most of them belong to Muzaffarpur district of Bihar and others are from Darbhanga and Kishanganj. The children were working in unhygienic, claustrophobic rooms with no freedom to move or leave employment,” he said.
When the children were rescued, they were found doing embroidery and other garments work. Most of the children did not have proper clothes or footwear.