JALANDHAR, June 23 -- The district administration has busted a racket of organised mafia involved in buying children from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in name of providing work to them and then engaging them in petty jobs like begging, rag picking, pickpocketing and other criminal activities.

The police had rescued 11 children aged between 8 to 13 years here on Friday evening from areas near the railway station and Bhagat Singh Chowk. These children, who were being engaged in segregation of waste, begging or other such work, were brought from UP and Bihar after paying Rs.10, 000 per child to their parents for one year.

"We had rescued 11 children on Friday. It is an organised syndicate running across the state. The mafia target vulnerable poor...