Hyderabad: During ‘Operation Muskaan’ and ‘Smile’, Telangana police has been able to rescue maximum number of children from exploitative situations, DGP Anurag Sharma said.

Describing human trafficking as a serious crime, second most international illegal business after drugs, Director General of Police Anurag Sharma said fear of law needs to be created among those indulging in the illegal activity.

At an event organised on the occasion of ‘World Day against Trafficking in Persons’ by the State Police, along with Department of Prosecution, Mahita NGO and Plan India here on Sunday, Sharma said every second, a child in underdeveloped and developing country was a victim and women trafficked from east European countries was phenomenal.

“Many of the trafficked children end up in sweathouses which is nothing but modern slavery and should be curbed with an iron hand,” he said.

Telangana police was committed to giving stringent punishment to those perpetuating these crimes, he said, adding that the police and CID had been conducting a number of raids on brothel houses and places employing trafficked labour and rescued a large number of minors from these places.

More than 950 trafficking cases were registered, 1397 victims were rescued and a total of 1043 traffickers were arrested in the State since 2014, Sharma said.

During Operation Muskaan and Smile, the police could rescue a maximum number of children in the country from exploitative situations, he said while calling for combined synergy of NGOs, Police and Women and Child Welfare in bringing down the issue of human trafficking.

Inspector General of Police, Dr Soumya Mishra stressed the need for capacity building among law enforcement agencies such as police and prosecutors to deal effectively with the growing menace of human trafficking.

In his address, Commissioner of Police, Rachakonda, Mahesh Bhagwat said more than 40 brothels were closed under Section143 and Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (1956) in Rachakonda jurisdiction.

Ramesh Sekhar Reddy, Programme Director, Mahita and Anita Kumar, Senior Programme Manager, Plan India and others participated in the meeting.