A schoolgirl in north-eastern Assam faked her own abduction in a bid to be a newsmaker and put her academic failure behind her.
Tutumoni Goala, a 13-year-old Adivasi student of BP Chaliha HS School in Lakhimpur district, went missing after leaving home for school Wednesday morning.
An acquaintance spotted her around noon in a town 30km away.
She later told the police that a gang of four masked men abducted her and bundled her into a white car.
She added that she managed to give her abductors the slip when the vehicle developed a snag on way to adjoining Arunachal Pradesh.
The police spent seven hours searching for the vehicle.
After thorough interrogation of the girl and other suspects, the police were convinced that Tutumoni had cooked up the story.
“There were gaps in her statement. After intense grilling, she confessed to faking her abduction,” said Lakhmipur superintendent of police PK Bhuyan.
“She was perhaps inspired by the story of Gunjan Sharma and made up the abduction drama to be on TV so that her fame would make her schoolmates stop teasing her,” he said.
Gunjan, a class 8 student of Kendriya Vidyalaya in Sivasagar district, had last year volunteered to be a hostage to an armed abductor in order to save the lives of 10 schoolchildren.
Her daring act earned her a bravery award of Rs 200,000 from the Assam government.
Tutumoni, on the other hand, had failed in her class 8 exam in December. She refused to go to school as her classmates had been making her the butt of jokes for failing.
She had even sought a transfer to another school but her parents disagreed.