Around 330 missing and destitute children, including 90 girls, were rescued during the third phase of "Operation Muskan" in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, a senior police official said on Saturday.
Some of the children, reported missing over a period of time, were reunited with their families while the other had been admitted to rescue homes, District Superintendent M. Ravindranadh Babu told reporters in Machilipatnam.
Several children were rescued from public places such as railway stations and bus stands, while many others were found forced into bonded labour in shops and hotels and begging, he added.
The SP said more than 800 children had been rescued in the three phases of "Operation Muskan" in Krishna district in the past couple of months.
In November last year, the Andhra Pradesh police said that their teams had rescued as many as 2,774 children, who were either living on the street or were being forced to do child labourer, under Operation Muskan.
This, after orders by Director General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang to the Superintendents of Police (SPs) in 13 districts, to work in tandem with ChildLine, the Child Welfare Committee and others, to rescue such children. While many of the children who were rescued were sent back to their families to be reunited, some others were sent to child care centres to decide their further course of action.
In cases where the child was found to be working, the police registered cases against the employers, booking them for child labour.