mid-day report helps single mom find runaway daughter

Jul 24, 2014, 09:05 IST | Shiva Devnath

After some of our readers read how Mohali’s Sukhdeep Kaur had put her life on hold and come to Mumbai to look for her daughter Gunreet, they realised the missing teen was their roommate

Hours after mid-day published the story of how Sukhdeep Kaur was wearing her soles thin running around three states looking for her daughter, the runaway girl was located.

Gunreet Kaur met her mother Sukhdeep yesterday after almost three months
Gunreet Kaur met her mother Sukhdeep yesterday after almost three months

Eighteen-year-old Gunreet Kaur’s roommates in Mumbai read the article (‘Cops in three states looking for girl who fled Mohali home to make it big in Mumbai’, July 22) and asked her to leave right away. The woman Gunreet got in touch with after that for accommodation contacted her mother, who in turn alerted the cops.

Our report on Tuesday about the runaway teen
Our report on Tuesday about the runaway teen

“This case was tough to crack, but mid-day really helped us get to this girl,” said a Mumbai police officer who helped trace her. After being reunited with her mom, Gunreet said, “It was not a conspiracy. I was trying to surprise my mother by becoming a known actress in B-town.” The teenager had taken off from Mohali in Punjab in May to live in the city and make it big in the film industry.

To achieve this end, she not only misled her mother on various occasions, but also the Crime Branch in three cities. During her escapade, she once caught a train to Surat to call up her mother just to misguide the cops about her location. She made the call from outside Surat railway station, but was caught on CCTV footage.

After this paper reported that her harried mother and cops in three states were looking for her for more than two months, Gunreet’s housemates at the Kandivli paying guest accommodation she was staying in realised she was the missing girl, and asked her to vacate the house.

Gunreet then went to a friend in the city who is also from Punjab. They had met at a film party. But the woman had read her story in this paper. After some coaxing, Gunreet gave her mother’s mobile number to the woman, who rang up Sukhdeep and asked her not to talk to the media since Gunreet was fine and did not wish to be in the media glare under such circumstances.

Without wasting a moment, Sukhdeep contacted the Mumbai Crime Branch Unit IX and told them about the development. The cops swung into action and traced the woman’s residence through her mobile location in Seven Bungalows, Andheri, where they found Gunreet in the wee hours yesterday.

Said Sukhdeep, “I am very thankful to mid-day as well as the Mumbai police, who helped bring back my missing daughter. It would have been impossible to trace her without their help.” In her statement to the Crime Branch, Gunreet said that at the time she left Mohali, she had R30,000 in cash and some gold. When the money ran out, she sold her iPad and subsequently began taking up small roles in video albums to earn money.

Gunreet said, “I used to note down all the numbers on my hand because I didn’t want to use a cellphone. I worked for a few albums, too, but did not think I would be traced this way. I thought I would return after becoming an actress.” At present, she is in the custody of the Crime Branch, who will hand her over to the Mohali police after recording her statement.

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