The recent abduction and safe return of Abigel Sara Reji have shed light on the broader issue of missing children in Kerala, as records reveal that 62 children have gone missing between 2018 and 2023. Despite the relief brought by Abigel’s return, the police’s track record in solving missing children cases appears to be inadequate. The Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, stated in the Assembly that closure reports have been submitted in courts for six cases due to a lack of progress in the investigations. The highest number of missing children is reported in Malappuram district (10), followed by Kasargod (eight) and Kozhikode city (seven). The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights emphasizes the need for a coordinated effort similar to the one witnessed in Abigel’s case to address the serious concern of missing children.
The incidents of missing children underscore a pressing issue that demands attention and collaborative action from law enforcement and communities. While the public rallied to ensure Abigel’s safe return, authorities face the challenge of addressing the larger problem of missing children across the state. The spotlight on these cases urges a reevaluation of existing mechanisms and the implementation of coordinated efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of all children reported missing.