Missing 15-yr-old's parents allege police apathy

Apr 25, 2013, 06:40 IST | Priyankka Deshpande

For auto rickshaw driver Sanjay Jadhav (43), who also recently met with an accident and fractured both his legs, the search for his 15-year-old missing daughter has left him critical of the authorities.

Jadhav has been running from pillar to post in a search of Aparna who went missing from her tuition classes in the month of February this year. After nearly two months, there have been no significant efforts by the police to trace the missing girl, says Jadhav.

Distressed: Sanjay Jadhav and his wife have been searching for their missing daughter for two months. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

This is not the only tragic example. Last year, as many as 726 girls and 1,860 women went missing from the city. Taking up the cudgels, Shiv Sena spokesperson and deputy leader in the Vidhan Parishad, Neelam Gorhe raised the issue during the recent assembly session.

Speaking to media persons yesterday, Gorhe said, “The lack of co-ordination between the railway and city police is responsible for the failure in tracing missing girls,”

She added that when she raised this issue in the Vidhan Parishad, Home Minister RR Patil assured house members that the suitable steps would be taken in this regard.

“Patil assured us that a sub-inspector and two other cops would be appointed to every police station. They would be responsible for finding missing persons. He said that of 726 girls reported missing, the ministry traced 627.

He also promised to issue directives for patrolling at railway stations and bus stands,” said Gorhe. She added that the home minister avoided giving a reply on the 1,860 missing women.

“Patil said that the women went missing due to domestic problems or mental depression,” Gorhe said. But, back in the city, the scenario is completely different, where citizens like Jadhav have to go through the daily rigmarole of non-satisfactory answers from the city cops.

“Police keep telling us that the investigation is ongoing whenever we ask them about the progress in the case. I have also submitted a copy of the FIR and my daughter’s photo to every police station in the city, expecting that the police would circulate her photo at all railway stations. However, nothing has been done in this regard,” said Jadhav.

Saddened by this apathetic approach by the police, Jadhav and his wife have been compelled to search for their missing daughter on their own. “Whenever we hear horrifying cases of brutal rapes of girls in various parts of the country, we get anxious, and start worrying for our daughter,” Jadhav said.
Director at Pune Child line Anuradha Sahastrabuddhe said that the efforts made by the police were yet unfruitful.

“In many cases, it has occurred that the girls would be declared missing, but in reality their parents would sell them. In such cases, the tracing rate of the missing girls is very low. However, if the police machinery is strong while dealing with such cases, it is not impossible to locate the girls,” Sahastrabuddhe said.

Vinod Jain, who recently founded a group ‘Tera Baccha Mera Baccha’ that extensively works on the issue of missing persons, said that a centralised website of missing people details should be created by the city police, so that information about such people would be accessible across the world.

Senior police inspector of the Social Security Cell, Bhanupratap Barge said that the system is in place wherein a PSI and other two police officers have been dedicated to trace missing persons. He also said that after every fifteen days, review meetings are being conducted to search the missing persons.  

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