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Police to use DNA to track young beggars

New strategy to help find thousands of missing children

Police to use DNA to track young beggars
Female beggars holding babies is a common sight in Madhya Pradesh reporter, Bhopal

November 12, 2012

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The state of Madhya Pradesh has announced plans for an innovative campaign to track young beggars through DNA tests amid police reports that gangs are controlling youngsters for profit. In the past two years, nearly 6,000 children – mostly girls – were untraceable in the state, according to official figures, with a total of about 20,000 young people missing in 2010 and 2011. “We suspect that the missing infants are used for begging and many others are pushed into child labor,” said M. R. Krishna, an additional director-general at the Crime Investigation Department. Police have started a massive search for missing children in Madhya Pradesh, he said, adding that DNA tests would be made on children on the street to identify their biological mothers. Many young children are seen with women and girls but a rising body of evidence suggests they may be part of child work gangs, say police. “Do you think any mother would use her child for begging to eke out a living? I don’t think any mother would go to this extent,” said Krishna. Some police officers have warned that many young girls may be ending up in the sex trade. Madhya Pradesh has in the past run a campaign to try to rescue girls. Related reports Migration to the cities means more children disappear

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