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Mumbai: Runaway girl from Pune stayed disguised as boy for eight months in Bhiwandi

The 16-year-old girl fled from her home at Hadapsar in Pune in October last year. Thane police reunited her with her mother upon finding out that she was a runaway girl in disguise.

Written by Jayprakash S Naidu | Mumbai |
July 5, 2021 5:41:26 pm
Last week, a local police team while patrolling spotted her moving suspiciously and questioned her thinking she was a boy. As she did not give any coherent replies, she was taken to the police station. (Representational Image)

A 16-year-old girl who ran away from her home in Pune last year due to poverty was staying in Bhiwandi disguised as a boy for eight months to earn a living, the police said. The Thane police reunited with her mother upon finding out that she was a runaway girl in disguise.

The teen, a school drop-out whose father had died, has a college-going brother. She fled from her home at Hadapsar in Pune in October last year and reached Dadar by train in search of work. She had a faint idea about Mumbai’s roads as she was born in the northern suburbs of Mumbai and stayed there during her school days before shifting to Pune.

Due to the lockdown, she could not find any work in Dadar. She cut her hair short and went to Bhiwandi where she begged for a few clothes and started wearing boys’ shirts and jeans. When the locals staying on the road asked her name, she identified herself as Samir Shaikh and made a footpath in Shantinagar area her abode. She did some menial jobs for money and the shopkeepers in the area and locals often gave her food.

Last week, a local police team while patrolling spotted her moving suspiciously and questioned her thinking she was a boy. As she did not give any coherent replies, she was taken to the police station.

“She managed to hide her identity and kept cooking up stories speaking in Hindi about her whereabouts but on realising the police would eventually find out the truth, she gave up and started speaking in Marathi and told us she was a girl,” said Deepvijay Bhavar, a sub-inspector.

“Because of her looks and voice, it was difficult to make out she was a girl. She did not want to go back home and kept lying that she is from Nagpur and her parents have died. But then she told us about her uncle in Beed. We contacted him through local police there and he said she is from Hadapsar. We then called local police in Pune who traced her mother, who came here and took her daughter back,” said Bhavar.

“We made a video call to her mother and got her to speak with the girl. Both were happy. We counselled her not to leave home like this and that she could have landed in a lot of trouble. She agreed not to repeat her actions,” said S V Raut, senior police inspector.

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