When it comes to telling tall tales, 13-yr-old Tutumoni Goala is no slouch. But it was not mere fun she was after. There was a serious purpose: Fame, fortune — and escaping her classmates’ jeers for failing her Class VIII final exams.
The groundwork was laid in December when the results at Lakhimpur’s BP Chaliha higher secondary school were declared and Tutumoni’s parents refused point blank to get her admitted in another school.
On Wednesday, days after the new school session started, the girl went missing. She left for school and never came back. While her home and neighbourhood erupted in chaos, around noon, an acquaintance spotted her in a town 30 km away.
Duly “rescued” by the police, Tutumoni told them four masked men had abducted her and was taking her to Arunachal Pradesh in a white car. But she had managed to give them the slip when the vehicle developed a snag.
After a seven-hour search for the car, the hapless policemen began to suspect that it was perhaps a wild goose they were chasing. And careful questioning of the child confirmed their suspicions. But the police are being a good sport.
“She was perhaps inspired by the story of Sivsagar district’s Gunjan Sharma — another 13-year-old who volunteered last year to be hostage to an armed abductor to save the lives of 10 schoolchildren — and cooked up the abduction drama,” said PK Bhuyan, Lakhimpur superintendent of police. “She thought being on television news would make her famous and her schoolmates would stop teasing her.”