Minutes after Delhi Police confirmed they had traced Jahnvi and informed her parents, residents of Raghubir Nagar, where she stays with her parents, came out in the streets to celebrate her homecoming — a week after she went missing from India Gate.
More than 150 residents assembled in the area and were seen bursting crackers and dancing to wedding songs. For the residents, it was a miracle that Jahnvi’s kidnappers had released her just kilometres away from her house. They danced, shouting, “Jahnvi mil gayi hai, Jahnvi mil gayi hai (Jahnvi has been found).”
Her parents took her to a local gurdwara and also paid a visit to the Delhi Police Commissioner’s house in Pandara Park, relatives said.
As one walked deeper into the alleyways of the DDA flat area where Jahnvi lives, everyone was wide awake. In a colony where almost everyone sleeps before midnight, this Sunday night was different. Lights were turned on in many houses and one could hear residents listening to the news.
A resident said, “ No one is going to sleep tonight. Jahnvi is coming back.” Veena, a neighbour said, “We were planning not to celebrate Diwali if Jahnvi did not come back. But now that she has, we have pulled out the crackers left from Dussehra and are bursting them to welcome her.”
Even young children in the colony, who had heard about Jahnvi’s disappearance, were heard cheering, Jahnvi aa rahi hai (Jahnvi is coming back).
Jahnvi’s relatives were anxiously waiting for her at their two-room flat in one of the buildings. Remembering the strain of the past one week Ravi Ahuja, Jahnvi’s uncle said, “We have not eaten properly or slept since the day Jahnvi went missing on September 28.
We searched for her at India Gate for 48 hours. We came back home but refused to believe that we would never see her again. We then started a Facebook campaign, distributed posters carrying her pictures and relentlessly searched for her in our area also. We went door-to-door searching for her. In the last two days, we also held a candlelight march in the hope of creating awareness throughout the country to find her.”
At the Mayapuri police station when Jahnvi’s identity was confirmed by her parents, she was then taken to the RML for a medical examination.
After the resident identified Jahnvi, police officers rushed to the spot and informed their senior officers. Police then contacted her parents and asked them to come to Mayapuri police station in West Delhi to confirm the girl’s identity. It was a tense 30 minutes before the parents finally arrived and confirmed that it was Jahnvi.
Additional Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) S B S Tyagi said the kidnappers had shaved Jahnvi’s head, apparently to hide her identity. “I cannot say much at the moment. It was a resident who saw her at D block and informed the PCR,” he said.
Police said Jahnvi was found in the same clothes that she was wearing at the time she went missing, and that she had told police her name. Although she could not tell them her father’s name, when a police officer asked where her house is she reportedly said, “India Gate”. There were no external injuries on her body, police said.