7-year-old girl goes missing, cops refuse to register case
While father's desperate attempts to elicit police action go unfulfilled, senior officials say that the case has been solved
In a show of carelessness, the Khar police have not registered a complaint of a 7-year-old girl gone missing. The father alleges that a burkha-clad woman kidnapped his daughter near her school in Khar. Despite four days going by, the police have neither acknowledged it as a case of kidnapping, nor have they lodged a missing person’s report.
The father of the girl, Naushad Sheikh, is an accountant by profession. On Thursday morning, Naushad left home at around 10 am, while his daughter, Saniya waited for the private van that usually ferried her to school and back. A Standard III student in Kamla High School next to Madhu Park in Khar (W), she left for school at 12.30 pm in the afternoon. In the evening, when the girl did not return home, Sheikh started looking for her.
Sheikh said, “I first went to Saniya’s school and met the principal, who gave me the number of the class teacher. She said a woman wearing a burkha had come earlier and taken the child.” Resham Khatara, principal, Kamla High School, said, “Yes, a woman did come to pick up Saniya, and we assumed that she was her mother so we did not bother to ask.”
Next, Sheikh went to the police station to register a complaint, where police refused to register Saniya’s case, or even make a missing person’s report.
PSI Gorakhnath Gaikwad said, “The husband’s first wife, who is the mother of the child might have taken the girl, and we are investigating that angle.” When asked why a complaint was not taken, he said, “We are speaking to higher officials regarding the matter.”
Senior Police Inspector Mangesh Pote said, “The girl has being traced and will be returned to the family very soon.” He however refused to divulge the details on who was behind the kidnapping.
Sheikh said, “If the police say that my first wife is a suspect, they should investigate and confirm it. If she has not taken Saniya, the police have no other leads.” He added, “I am also investigating the case independently. I tried calling my first wife several times but her phone has been switched off. Now I have sent my father to UP where she stays and he see if my girl is there.” Sheikh and his first wife had spilt in 2010, after which they hadn’t maintained any contact, although Sheikh maintained custody of their daughter. Sheikh had recently remarried in June this year.
The fact of the matter
Prakash Kumar, an advocate said, “In such a case, police has to file an FIR under section 363. Whoever kidnaps any person from India or from lawful guardianship, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term that may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine. However, in this case, the police have not even taken a missing complaint which shows it is a case of burking.”