Boy, 16, from Rajasthan, meets them at Bandra station, takes them sightseeing; all 3 found in Surat
The girls have gone back to their families, while the boy has been sent to Dongri remand home. Representation pic
The parents of two Mumbai girls who were clueless about their children’s online interactions rushed to the police after the teens didn’t return home on June 27. The police traced the girls to Surat and brought them back. The families then learnt that the girls, aged 11 and 13, were being taken to Rajasthan by a 16-year-old boy from Jaipur for sightseeing. The boy and one of the girls are friends on Instagram.
The Santacruz police took the boy into custody for allegedly kidnapping the girls and sent him to a remand home.
The drama unfolded last week when the boy came to Mumbai to meet the 13-year-old girl. The girl took her 11-year-old friend along with her. That night, the older girl’s mother, a resident of Link Road, approached the Santacruz police saying her daughter had gone missing.
After talking to her friends, she learnt that her daughter’s friend had left home at 7 pm and was yet to return. Following complaints from the families, the cops registered a kidnapping case under section 363 of the Indian Penal Code.
Senior Inspector Balasaheb Tambe pressed a team into action. “To track down the girls quickly was a challenge. The locations of the girls were constantly monitored and it was found they were moving towards Gujarat,” said a police officer.
The cops also figured out that the girls were on a train. “Information was relayed to all the officials at major railway stations on the Western line from Gujrat to Rajasthan. The girls’ pictures were circulated to the officials,” said another police officer.
The next morning, Surat railway cops informed the Santacruz police that they had detained two girls and a 16-year-old boy, all teens. While the youngsters were brought to Mumbai, their reason for leaving Mumbai left the families stunned.
“The 16-year-old boy works as a jewellery maker in a workshop. He befriended the 13-year-old girl from Link Road, Santacruz, on Instagram and had been chatting with her for the past couple of months,” said Tambe. “The boy had told the girl that he would be coming to Mumbai and meet her.”
The police said the two girls met the boy at Bandra railway station. He then took both the girls along with him on the pretext of sightseeing in Jaipur. “The parents were unaware of their daughters’ presence on social media. The girls used to spend more time on the phone saying it was for extra school classes,” said a police source.
The boy was handed over to the Child Welfare Committee. He has been kept at the Dongri children’s home. The girls have returned to their homes.