Mumbai: CBI declares Rs 2.5-lakh reward for info on missing 14-year-old

The girl, who was 12 at the time, was brought to Mumbai from UP on the pretext of making her an actress in 2013 and was sold to a woman in Chembur; she escaped and was taken to the Mankhurd Children’s Home, but disappeared from there within eight days

Lured to Mumbai on the pretext of making her an actress and then sold off to a woman in Chembur, 12-year-old Shabra Islam Pathan from Bareilly in UP managed to escape and was taken to the Mankhurd Children’s Home by the police in August 2013.

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The notice announcing the reward
The notice announcing the reward

Just eight days after being taken to the home, she disappeared from there and the CBI, which is now investigating the case and has offered R2.5 lakh for concrete information on her whereabouts, suspects that she was kidnapped from there by human traffickers.

Shabra was allegedly brought to the city from Uttar Pradesh by one Salim Mohammad, who had told her that he would make her an actress. Mohammad sold the girl to an unidentified woman in Chembur and disappeared, and Shabra managed to escape from the woman’s clutches in eight days.

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An officer from CBI said, “After the girl managed to flee, she was found by some local policemen, who then handed her over to the Mankhurd Children’s Home on August 23, 2013. The girl disappeared from the remand home on August 31 the same year, and has been untraceable ever since.”

The case of her being missing has been registered with the Trombay police station under Section 363 (Kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code as she is a minor.

Arrest and probe
Based on a tip-off, Mohammad was arrested by the Bharatpur GRP in Rajasthan and the case was handed over to the CBI on May 22 this year after he applied for bail to the Rajasthan High Court.

The officer added, “The accused, during his interrogation, revealed that he had lured 15-20 girls to Mumbai on the pretext of making them actresses. We inquired with the family of the victim, who claimed that, in August 2013, Shabra, who was 12 years old at the time, was playing in the vicinity of their house when she went missing.”

CBI officials said they have been investigating the case from every angle and suspect that the victim could have been kidnapped from the premises of the Children’s Home, but said that they would get confirmation of this only after the girl was located. Officials said they have a strong suspicion that she was abducted by human traffickers and forced into something illegal.

Additional SP A K Sethi from CBI confirmed the reward declared by the department and said, “The accused had applied for bail and since the High Court felt more thorough investigations were needed in the case, we were ordered to inquire into it. We are now trying to trace the girl.”

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