As the Republic Day parade started at Rajpath, several people who came to attend the event were standing outside, searching for their missing family members and lost belongings.
Among them was a woman who lost hold of her two children after getting caught in the rush while entering through a point near India Gate. “I wanted my kids, aged 5 and 8, to see the event. But when I tried to enter through the gate, I was pushed by a group of people and I lost hold of them. They went somewhere forward in the crowd. I tried looking for them… but couldn’t see them. Maybe they entered through the gates,” she said.
The woman reached out to a policeman from Parliament Street police station who made an announcement on the loudspeaker. “The woman came to us around 9 am and we tried dispersing people but the crowd was huge. Later, a man informed another policeman about two kids crying near the gates. We sent the woman and she took her kids back,” said the policeman.
A senior police officer from New Delhi said “5-6 cases of missing persons” were reported. “Due to the crowd after 8 am, we did receive some calls about missing children and adults… We took action immediately and found the missing persons,” he said.
While there was no ‘lost and found’ section, the local police and other security officials kept aside bags and other lost items near the gates of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
Tara Chauhan (42), a fashion designer from Noida, said she lost her new phone near the entrance. “ My parents gifted me an iPhone 11 recently… it was in the backpack. I was with my parents outside gate number 18 when I lost my phone. Maybe it fell down or someone took it, I went to the inquiry booth for help. But was instead told to file an E-FIR later.”
The police said that over 20-30 such cases were reported at nearby police stations and few people also filed E-FIRs.
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