UP child-trafficking: The kids have been handed over to their families, said police. (Representational)
Uttar Pradesh police has busted a child trafficking racket with the arrest of 16 persons, officials said on Monday, adding six kidnapped kids were rescued in the operation.
The children were rescued during an overnight operation conducted in Aligarh and surrounding areas as part of the special anti-human trafficking "Operation Khushi", they said.
Acting on a tip-off, police caught three persons near a crossing at village Borna under Mahuakheda police station area on Sunday evening, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kalanidhi Naithani said.
They told police that four kidnapped children were being held in a house in Ganga Nagar colony under Gandhi park police station area, he said.
Police immediately raided the premises and rescued them, the SSP said, adding two more kidnapped children were freed from the clutches of other members of the gang at another house in an area that falls under the Delhi gate police station area.
Two of these children had gone missing from Ghaziabad and four from Aligarh, Mr Naithani said, dubbing the overnight action as "unprecedented".
"Sixteen people who mediated the sale and purchase of infants and toddlers have been arrested. These include nine women," he said.
The male members of the gang with a nexus across the state would kidnap children and hand them over to the women, who would then sell them off to childless couples for Rs 50,000 each and sometimes even in lakhs of rupees, Mr Naithani said.
The police teams that carried out the rescue operation under the supervision of Superintendent of Police (SP) Kuldeep Singh Gunawat have been rewarded, he said.
The children have been handed over to their families and further legal proceedings against the gang members are underway, he added.
Mr Naithani said "Operation Khushi" involving the anti-human trafficking unit (AHTU) was launched in view of reports of increasing cases of abduction of children in the district.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)