Mangaluru: In a joint operation, 17 girls aged around 13-18 years have been rescued from the Malpe port on Thursday morning at around 5am.

The pre-dawn joint operation was conducted by the District Child Protection Unit and officials of other departments including women and child development department, department of labour, department of public instruction, police, child helpline and Nagarika Seva Trust Udupi at the Malpe port.

The children were working as labourers to carry fish from the auction area of the Malpe port to the vehicles of the buyers.

The 17 children were produced before the child welfare committee after being rescued, their details are being verified and documented.

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District Child Protection officer Sadnand Nayak, legal surveillance officer Prabhakar Achar, protection officer Mahesh Devadiga, labour officer Kumar, labour inspector Praveen, subject inspector of the department of public instruction Nagaraj took part in the operation.

Others who were also a part of the operation were social activists of the protection unit Yogeesh, Suraksha, Sunanda and women's police station staff Savitri, Aruna, Malpe police staff Savita, Jagadish, Nityananda Olakadu, Shilpa, Sushmita, Kasturi, Triveni, and Netra of child helpline, and Christopher of Vishwasada Mane Shankarapura.