THE story of a nine-year-old boy who managed to fling himself out of a running train near Sama Satta on Friday while he was in chains is, indeed, heart rendering. But the failure of the authorities to recover the 30-odd other boys, who were also in chains and about whose presence in two boggies the courageous lad told the press, is too shocking for words. Apparently, with an immediate coordinated action by the government agencies concerned, there should have been little difficulty in rescuing them at the next scheduled stop. In this age of instant communication even a forced halt could have been arranged at an earlier convenient place and an adequate police force assembled there to do the job. If the report of a private TV channel that the Karachi-bound train had stopped at Khanpur for 10 minutes without being searched and before it reached Rahinyarkhan is true, IG Police Tariq Saleem Dogar's observation that without the complicity of Railway officials the unfortunate boys could not have been taken away by their abductors sounds quite credible. However, one wonders what prompted Railway's General Manager, Operations, Mr Saeed Akhtar to assume that Railway officials were not likely to be involved. He has ordered an investigation, nevertheless, but the attempt to exonerate his men before the outcome of the inquiry was known is not understandable. The authorities ought to mount quick efforts to rescue these boys, and if anyone was found implicated in whisking them away from the train he must be awarded condign punishment. Boy Naushad has provided enough information to enable the police to track down the culprits. He has named the brick kiln where his poor parents had sent him to work, and where someone had rendered him unconscious with the use of an inhaling substance and later he woke up to find himself in Gujrat. Pakistan has come to be known as a country where human trafficking is quite common, apart from being the centre of several other evils. It is time the authorities gingered themselves up and did something about such social crimes.