Vijayawada

Missing girl reunited with family after 12 years

Latha breaks down after being reunited with her parents after 12 years, at the Vijayawada Police Commissionerate on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Tears flowed freely at the Vijayawada Police Commissionerate on Tuesday after a 25-year-old woman who had gone missing 12 years ago was reunited with her parents.

K. Latha (originally Adi Lakshmi), of Gudlavalleru in Krishna district, was 13 years old when she ran away from home on March 12, 2007 after being reprimanded by her mother for skipping school. A woman saw Latha standing alone at the Pandit Nehru Bus Station, and took her home only to sell her off for ₹500 to a woman named Madhulika from Madurai in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Madhulika brought up Latha as her daughter and later got her married to a man named Kanchivanam, who runs a restaurant in Madurai. After Madhulika passed away a few years ago, Latha and her husband began searching for her biological parents.

On Monday, the couple submitted a petition to Vijayawada Police Commissioner Ch. Dwaraka Tirumala Rao at a ‘Spandana’ programme. Mr. Tirumala Rao gave a patient hearing to the couple and later directed the police to search for her parents.

“On Tuesday morning, Latha’s father Mangalagiri Lakshmi Narayana and her mother Chanchamma approached us after reading about Latha’s story in the media. They brought evidence along with them in support of their claim,” the Police Commissioner said at a press conference.

Emotional moment

Mr. Lakshmi Narayana, Latha’s father, had carefully preserved the FIR copy of the missing person’s case that was registered after his daughter went missing. Along with the FIR copy, he furnished family photographs and newspaper clippings that were published after Latha went missing.

It was an emotional moment as Latha was reunited with her parents. Both father and daughter broke down as they hugged after 12 long years. Latha’s husband Kanchivanam was also overwhelmed as he met his in-laws for the first time.

‘Thanks to CM’

Krishna Superintendent of Police M. Ravindranath Babu said that following a complaint lodged by Mr. Lakshmi Narayana, a ‘girl missing’ case under Crime No.32/2007 was registered at Gudlavalleru police station. However, the case was later closed as ‘Untraced’, he said.

Ms. Latha, who also met her brothers Nooka Raju and Durga Raju for the first time in 12 years, thanked Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for launching Spandana, stating that the public outreach programme was instrumental in reuniting her with her family.

“The girl’s father preserved the FIR copy, her photographs, newspaper clippings, photographs and his memories with his daughter, which helped us in identifiying the parents immediately. However, we will go for a DNA test to obtain scientific evidence and to avoid any legal litigations in the future,” Mr. Tirumala Rao said.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 9:47:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/missing-girl-reunited-with-family-after-12-years/article30268787.ece

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