Pune: After changing her story several times over the last six days, a 10-year-old girl in Pune yesterday admitted that she had faked her kidnapping to teach her parents and elder sister a lesson as they never favoured her.
The girl at the spot where Santosh Kaur Pagania found her
The remorseful girl later confessed, “I want to be with my parents and I am sorry to trouble them. I thought the police will just shout at them and let them go but they were going to arrest them and put them behind bars. I do not like studying and I want to be an actor.”
The girl, a Bhumkar Chowk resident, had left home on May 5 and was found hiding in the bushes near Mumbai-Bangalore highway the next day by a petrol pump worker Santosh Kaur Pagania.
Pagania said the girl’s face was covered in tar and the child asked her not to inform the police as she said her parents were looking for her to harm her. After saying this she fell unconscious. “Scared to inform the cops, I brought the girl to my house, where I fed her and gave her medicines as the girl had fever,” said the 30-year-old petrol pump worker.
When asked by Pagania about how she got there, the 10-year-old said her father had kidnapped her and kept her tied in the bushes near the highway but she managed to flee the spot. “I then contacted Sachin Jadhav, who runs an NGO called Helping Hand Foundation for help,” Pagania added.
After consulting Jadhav, who was not in Pune then, Pagania went to the cops who made her run from pillar to post saying that the case didn’t fall in their jurisdiction. Then Jadhav finally came to Pune on May 9 and met the girl, who told him that her mother had abandoned her on the highway with R100 saying that she was burden on her as she already has one daughter. He then took her to Hinjewadi police station. “On May 9, I came to Pune and approached Hinjewadi police station, where the cops claimed that a missing case had already been registered by the girl’s parents on May 6,” said Jadhav.
Truth be told
The police tried to counsel the girl for three days. Inspector Arun Yaykar, in-charge, Hinjewadi police station, said, “We went to the spot, where the girl had claimed she was abandoned, and also checked CCTV footage to check if she was telling the truth. But the footage showed the girl walking there alone on May 5 evening.”
He added, “Initially, the girl claimed that she was kidnapped by her father but later she said her mother wanted to get rid of her. We then took her to a park and got a counselor to talk to her. When that didn’t make her speak, we told her that we planned to arrest her parents. This made her break down and she said that she had had a fight with her elder sister and her parents never took her side. So, she wanted to teach them a lesson by staging a kidnap.”