Chhani police station in Vadodara city has begun a search for two minors who allegedly “eloped” on December 28 from their home in Padamla village. Police have also sought permission to send a team to a southern state where the minors may have run away to, an official said.
The boy and the girl, both aged 14, are students of Class 9 and live in the same neighbourhood, police said. They belong to two different castes, they added.
RS Dodiya, Police Inspector of Chhani police station told The Sunday Express, “Both the boy and the girl were in touch with each other and have run away together. The families approached the police after realising that they were missing. We have registered a case of kidnapping on December 30 and initiated a massive search for them.”
While officials say the families have denied knowledge about the “relationship” between the two, a source said the families were aware that the two had been friends for over four years. While the boy also took Rs 25,000 cash from his house, the girl took Rs 5,000 from her house before running away, the families have told the police.
“We will know the exact reason for their actions only when we find and bring them back. As of now, the family has denied having any knowledge about any ‘affair’ between them. So, the question of family disapproving the relationship does not arise. The two are minors in any case and are not of legal age to be married,” Dodiya said.
A local from the village said that the two minors had been depressed since the Covid-19 lockdown because they had been unable to meet for several months. Since both of them studied in two different schools, they would often meet outside school hours, locals told police. Sources also said that the families had warned the two about staying away from each other but the two had kept in touch through social media during the lockdown.
“They had decided to run away because they were feeling separation anxiety as the closure of schools meant that they were unable to meet daily and as they liked. They meticulously planned the elopement as well because both of them took money from their homes without the knowledge of their parents,” an officer said.
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