WhatsApp message gives false hope to missing girl's parents
A message circulated on the Android application WhatsApp sent a distraught Bandra-based couple into a tizzy, when it told them that the Nashik police had found their six-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who had gone missing over three years ago. In no time, the couple rushed to the Nashik Police Commissioner’s office, only to find that the message was a hoax.
Kamar Alam Khan showing his daughter Muskan’s photograph who went missing from her uncle’s Nallasopara residence in 2010, while the family was celebrating Eid
The couple has now approached the court, which in turn has asked the Cyber Crime cell to investigate where the message originated. The couple’s daughter, Muskan Kamar Alam Khan, had gone missing from the verandah of her uncle’s Nallasopara residence in 2010, while the family was celebrating Eid.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Muskan’s father Kamar Alam Khan said, “We were inside the room and our children were playing in the verandah. Half an hour later, we couldn’t locate Muskan, and even the children who had been playing with her couldn’t tell us of her whereabouts.”
When she wasn’t found over the next few days, the family started sticking her posters in public places across the state, as well as in Gujarat and Rajasthan. “I started visiting orphanages in Gujarat, Pune and Mumbai, but she wasn’t traceable. I kept getting calls that people had seen Muskan, so I had to rush to the spot. I visited Delhi, Ajmer, Gujarat and Rajasthan looking for my daughter, but couldn’t find her anywhere.”
Getting little help from the police, Khan filed a petition in court in 2012, requesting it to order a thorough search of his daughter. Things took a dramatic turn on Friday, when Khan got a photo message on Whatsapp messenger. The photograph of Muskan was accompanied by a message that said that the Nashik police had found her and if anyone knew about her parents or relatives, they should get in touch with the police.
“After I read the message I rushed to Nallasopara police station, where the officers said that they would go to Nashik the following day. But I was desperate to see my daughter after three years so I went to Nashik on the same night and enquired. But I couldn’t locate her. I cannot understand if this is a case of kidnapping. I have been roaming the place looking for her, but couldn’t find her,” said her father.
Bandra-based MNS worker Tahir Shaikh said, “I have been helping the family throughout. If anyone comes to know about Muskan’s whereabouts, they should inform her father.” A case of kidnapping was registered with Nallasopara police station immediately after she went missing.
Sub-divisional Police Officer (Dahanu) Abhijit Shivthare said, “Even I got the same message and immediately a team was dispatched to Nashik, but we couldn’t locate the girl. We even contacted the Nasik control room, but there wasn’t any truth behind the message. Some days ago I got a message saying that Muskan had been located in Gujarat, but we couldn’t trace her there either. We have now asked the Cyber Crime whether they could tell us where these messages are coming from.”