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15-year old’s kidnap story sends police on a wild chase

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A complaint of kidnapping and sexual assault filed by the parents of a 15-year-old girl from Bhiwandi last week turned out to be a “wild story”. The police on Saturday said that after sustained questioning, the girl had confessed to having made up the story to divert attention from the fact that she had spilled some milk at home in the morning.

According to the Shanti Nagar police, a couple approached them on November 18 to register a complaint that three men had forced their daughter into a four-wheeler at Bhadwad junction while she was going to school on November 15, and took her to Asangaon.

“The girl, in her statement said, she was blindfolded during the ride. When the blindfold was removed, she found herself in a factory-like structure where several other young girls were filling some kind of powder inside plastic bags. She said she managed to steal a key to the lock on the rear shutter, opened it, fled into the forest area behind it with the other girls, reached Asangaon station and made her way home,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajkumar Shinde, Zone II, Thane Police said.

Even as the girl was undergoing a medical examination, members of a local NGO took to Twitter saying that the girl had been sexually assaulted and that the police were being lackadaisical in their investigation. The tweets were picked up by some local news publications, sparking disturbance in the area.

The police registered an FIR against unidentified persons, and invoked all sections including rape, kidnapp, assault, outraging a woman’s modesty and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code, along with relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. A special team comprising personnel from the police station formed a special team from Crimes Against Women cell and Crime Branch. The team collected footage from Kalyan, Asangaon and Vasind.

“We could not find anything suspicious in the footage of the girl being kidnapped at the Bhadvad junction, or any sign of her in CCTV footage at Asangaon station at the time specified by her. Hours and hours of footage was examined but not a single aspect of her story could be verified,” Mr. Shinde said.

The police confronted her with the evidence in front of her family and members of the local NGO before she finally confessed to have lied.

“The girl’s father is very short tempered. She said she had spilled milk at home on November 15 morning and was scared her father would be angry when he learned about it in the evening. To divert his attention, she bunked school, went to Asangaon, came back and then narrated the story to the NGO member, who then told her family,” Mr. Shinde said.

The police have issued a warning to the girl and will be filing a report of their findings in court, officers said.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 2:40:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/15-year-olds-kidnap-story-sends-police-on-a-wild-chase/article30064790.ece

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