Two class X students went missing from a southeast Delhi central government-aided girls hostel on November 27. The minors, aged 15, purportedly left a note in which they allegedly blamed the hostel warden for running away.
Delhi Police said they have registered an FIR under IPC Section 363 (kidnapping), and that two teams will be sent to Chandigarh and Dehradun to trace the students.
Both the school and hostel, which houses around 130 students from classes VI-XII, are located on the same premises. When The Indian Express visited the spot on Sunday, it found that entry to the hostel was unrestricted, with no guard present to enquire about visitors. The school receives aid from the Delhi government.
In the purported note, the students wrote: “Our lives have turned miserable here. We have not told anyone that we are running away because we do not trust anyone. The authorities were not ready to listen to us and just wanted to throw us out of the hotel. Had she (warden) not been after our lives, we would not have run away. We do not know where we will go, but we will be happy wherever we go.”
As per sources, the girls are from under-privileged families and one of them lost her mother a few years ago.
The warden, who joined the post in June 2017, told The Indian Express that the girls left the hostel around 7 am on November 27 with two bags. They went to the school, where a test was being conducted, following which they were seen leaving the premises around 12.30 pm, she said.
“The girls were known for being indisciplined and academically poor. Both failed multiple subjects in the first-term examination. They held a grudge against me as I reprimanded them for applying lipstick and eyeliner…,” the warden claimed.
She further claimed that on the evening of November 26, one of the missing girls skipped dinner after they were summoned by the manager of the hostel over “a petty fight with another student”. Sources said they were warned that they will be asked to quit if they “repeat the mistake”.
“When they came back, I tried to talk to them, but one of the girls told me off saying she has a headache. They used to be together all the time… Perhaps, trying to keep them in line was my mistake,” she claimed.
A police officer said efforts are underway to trace the girls, who were captured by a CCTV camera while leaving the school gate. The main gate, however, does not have a CCTV camera, so where they went after leaving the premises could not be ascertained, police added.
Delhi Education Department director Sanjay Goel said he was not immediately aware of the issue, adding that there are over 200 Delhi government-aided schools.