Swati Kange, a Std XII Science student, has been missing since August 16. Her desperate father, Dayanand Kange, owner of a general store in Vile Parle East, says, "It has been six days since she disappeared. We have filed a police complaint with the Andheri East police station. The cops have informed us that their investigations are going on."
Swati did not come home on August 16 evening. Says her father, "My daughter went to college at 11 am on August 16. She usually comes home late in the evening. She walked to a bus stop in the evening with her friend. Her friend took another bus home, while my daughter was supposed to take a different bus. She has not come home since.
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Some college students told us that she arrived in college in the morning but did not attend lectures. She did, though, attend a small birthday party for friends in the college canteen and then disappeared. Then, she was seen again at the college gate in the evening."
Swati's father added, "She was not carrying a mobile phone with her. In fact, she misplaced her phone about 20 days earlier and we were planning to buy her one, soon."
According to Dayanand, "There were no signs that there was anything amiss. Swati was happy. A day earlier, on August 15, she had gone to Marine Drive to mark her birthday, which actually falls on May 11. Yet, she celebrates it on August 15, as there are college holidays in May so her friends cannot be with her.
She was jovial when she left for college on August 16. Yet, she did insist that I give her original Aadhar card, before going she said she needed it for some college purpose, she also had her college ID."
No clue, says college
A college professor who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that Swati has been missing. He added, "On August 17, we learnt that Swati's parents had come into the college along with plainclothes police. The group went directly to the National Service Scheme (NSS) office within the college and spoke to some volunteers there. They went to the NSS office and then left the college instead of seeking an appointment with the principal. One would think they would at least meet the principal. We have learnt of her disappearance only through WhatsApp messages." Swati has two younger siblings, a school going brother and sister.
A father's plea...
Swati's father, Dayanand though clarifies that 'we had reached Swati's college on the night of August 16 at 10 pm but it was shut. The security reassured us that there was nobody in the college. In the midst of this, we were bounced between Vile Parle and Andheri (E) police stations about where to file a complaint.
Finally Andheri registered a First Information Report (FIR). Swati's mother went back to the college on August 17, it was a holiday. We begged to be let in and checked the toilets etc. in case she is hiding there, we were so desperate."
Says Dayanand, "The cops are questioning us about any tension in the family. The only friction I recall is that when Swati was in Std XI she had a diary in which she had written that she was in love with a boy. Her mother scolded her when she discovered the diary and told my daughter to concentrate on her academics. My daughter then claimed she had burnt the diary in a garbage heap. All was normal after that." Tearfully, Dayanand claims, "We just want to know where our daughter is, if anybody has a clue please tell us, her family is waiting, longing to see her again. We will not pressurise her in any way, just want to know if she is safe."
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