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Dos and don'ts to prevent kidnapping of children

By Marcus Dam

KOLKATA, FEB. 24. Parents have been asked to advise their school-going children "not to interact with strangers or accept gifts from them and, if lost in a crowd, to "approach women" who, the police believe, are "statistically less likely to commit crimes like kidnapping and abduction."

These are some of the suggestions listed in a directive drawn up by the police for circulation among schools and major tutorials located in the suburbs of Kolkata in what is described as a "knee-jerk reaction" to the kidnapping of a college girl here. She was later traced and similar incidents of abduction of students in adjoining Bihar have been reported. The leaflets, containing a list of "dos and don'ts", are to be distributed among students and their guardians. They carry a word of advice for teachers too.

Three Ds

"The guardians have also been asked to verify from the local police the antecedents of their three Ds — drivers, domestic helps and durwans — working in their homes," the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Presidency Range), Harman Prit Singh, told The Hindu here today. "We have internally circulated the directives to the Superintendents of Police in the districts surrounding Kolkata in an attempt to prevent kidnapping of children," he said.

As for the city, the Commissioner of Police, Prasun Mukherjee, said: "Steps have been taken to intensify vigil around major schools where plainclothes policemen are being deployed in greater numbers." Mobile patrolling in the vicinity of schools had been intensified. Similar steps had been taken in "parks and areas in the city which are frequented by morning and evening walkers."

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