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Indian child trafficking on the rise

NEW DELHI, India — When police in the north Indian state of Punjab announced the arrest of a grandfather for allegedly selling his infant grandson on Facebook, the news immediately went viral.

But the real story is hidden behind the headline: The buying and selling of children is alarmingly commonplace in India.

“The numbers are shocking now,” said Bhuwan Ribhu, a lawyer who works with the Save the Childhood Movement, a New Delhi–based nonprofit that fights child trafficking and other forms of exploitation.

According to official government estimates, around 90,000 children went missing in India in 2011 alone. And while police contend that many are runaways whose return home is never reported, nearly 35,000 remain untraced, and only 15,000 of the total cases were ever investigated.

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