A massive manhunt launched to trace three missing schoolgirls in South Kashmir's Anantnag district took a bizarre turn, when the girls were 'found partying'.
According to police, a massive manhunt was launched from Friday afternoon after a man came to file a missing report of a teenaged girl studying in Class 8. Fearing abduction or even human trafficking, police starting checking all exit routes from the Valley, including road and rail routes.
"The Anantnag police informed all nakas, including those at Qazigund and Jawahar Tunnel," said a police spokesman. Vehicles were searched along the national highway to get clues about the girls.
After strenuous efforts, police could find the girl along with other two girl students at Larh in the famous hill resort of Pahalgam. "We tracked down the phones of the girls and they were found in Pahalgam. When asked, the girls said they had left home just for fun," said AK Jalla, the Anantnag SSP.
"During questioning, it was found that the three girl students had left their respective homes early on Friday morning. While two were wearing uniform, one was in casual clothes. The girls boarded a bus and reached Anantnag from where they went to Kanilwan. At Kanilwan, they sold a mobile for Rs 500 and left for Pahalgam in a taxi," a police spokesman said.
The trio stayed with a family, not known to them, at Larh in Pahalgam for the night enjoying the hospitality of the hosts. On Saturday morning, they returned to Bijbhehara and sold gold ornaments such as the earrings they were wearing for Rs 13,000 and reached Pahalgam again.
"In the meantime, police was able to gather information regarding their location. They brought these girls to Anantnag. The three have been handed over to their parents," the spokesman added.
However, the reason that prompted the girls to leave their families is not yet known.