Nearly three weeks after a minor girl allegedly eloped from a village in Banaskantha’s Palanpur taluka, the police are yet to trace her.
According to police, the class 12 student went “missing” from her residence on November 26 following which an FIR was lodged against four persons, including a woman, on charges of kidnapping and sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act among others on November 30.
The girl’s father claimed that the girl was 17 years old and would become an adult in January next year. In his complaint, he accused a 20-year-old man from a neighbouring village of luring her to elope.
“On November 26, I had gone to work in a nearby village and my wife had gone to cut wood. In the evening, when we returned, we could not find our daughter. Her birth certificate and Aadhaar card were also missing.
A villager told us the next day that a man from a neighbouring village used to harass my daughter when she went to school before lockdown. I went to the man’s house but it was locked. His neighbour told me that the man had eloped with my daughter with the help of two friends and the mother of one of latter,” the girl’s father said in his complaint.
On Monday, the complainant said it has been nearly three weeks but the police have not been unable to trace his daughter’s mobile phone or the accused.
A police officer with Palanpur Taluka police station said, “After the FIR was lodged, police started tracing the phone numbers of the girl and the accused, but all the gadgets are switched off. The case has now been transferred to the Deputy Superintendent of Police (SC/ST) office.”
Dy SP SC/ST cell VK Pandya, meanwhile, said an investigation was on in the case and declined to comment further.
The police have booked the four accused under Indian Penal Code Sections 363 for kidnapping, 366 for kidnapping a woman to compel her marriage, 114 for an offence committed when abettor present and relevant sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
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