More than 250 locals surrounded Wadala police station on Friday to protest police inaction in the kidnap of two minor girls 20 days ago.
Firoz A, one of the girls’ father said 20 days ago, his 14-year-old daughter and her 15-year-old friend went missing from their respective houses.
“We lodged a missing complaint at Wadala police station but when the police enquired in the area and found two local boys also missing, they registered a case of kidnapping against the two 22-year-old boys,” said Firoz.
“The police investigated and found the four were in Uttar Pradesh. A police team went there to arrest the boys and bring back our girls but returned empty-handed,” he said at the police station, where he was present with the locals.
“It’s hard to believe a police team went to UP but couldn’t even get pictures of the boys. I’m afraid that if the police do not arrest the boys soon, they will kill my daughter and her friend, Ruchi Sharma,” he said. “If the children have eloped, the police should at least tell us,” he added.
The alleged kidnappers, identified as Mumtaz (22) and Parvez (23), lived in the same area as the girls and worked as daily wage labourers.
Vilas Shinde, senior police inspector at Wadala police station, said the couples had eloped and the girls had taken cash and jewellery from their houses, and said police are charging them with kidnapping because they are minors.
“The girls’ cellphones have been switched off, but once, when they called home, we traced the cell number and found they were in UP. We sent a team there but by then the four had left the place so we returned empty-handed,” said Shinde.
Asked about fresh efforts to locate the girls, Shinde said: “We’ve sent messages to police stations in the neighbouring areas of UP. In Mumbai too, we’ve sent wireless messages to all police stations, railway stations and bus stands.”