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Mumbai police data reveals that most people who went missing were between 16 and 25 years old

MUMBAI CITY NEWS: The statistics revealed that 2,667 people went missing (till March this year) in the city, of which 1,675 have been found.

mumbai Updated: May 22, 2017 00:56 IST
Pratik Salunke
Pratik Salunke
Hindustan Times
mumbai,mumbai news,mumbai police
In 2015, 10,313 persons went missing, of which 9,375 were found, 45 were found dead while 938 persons are still missing.(HT)

Most people who went missing in the city were adolescents, between 16 and 25 years old, revealed data from the Mumbai police.

The statistics revealed that 2,667 people went missing (till March this year) in the city, of which 1,675 have been found. The number of people who went missing were from between 16 and 25 years old, of whom 423 were males 885 were females. A total of 992 people have still not been traced, while bodies of eight were recovered. In 2016, the numbers of missing people was 11,369, of which 7,585 were located, 38 were found dead and 3,784 could not be found. As many as 2,180 males who went missing were in the 16-25 age group, while 1,501 were found. For females, the number was 3,510 in 2016, of which 2,347 were found later.

In 2015, 10,313 persons went missing, of which 9,375 were found, 45 were found dead while 938 persons are still missing. Of them, 1,792 males were in the 16-25 years age group, while 3,182 were females. Of them, 1,693 males and 2,855 females were found.

NGOs working with children said that there were plenty of reasons for this. “Young adults are impulsive and the their tolerance levels for frustration is low. Love affairs, infatuations and tiffs with parents are some common reasons that drive youngsters away from home,” said Farida Lambay, co-founder, Pratham, an NGO working for child protection and education.

Experts noted that the age group is more vulnerable and there is a need for healthy interaction to prevent missing cases. “People in this age group are impulsive ad tend to have a streak of independence. Some are mature. Also, if family members are understanding and cooperative, things work out well,” observed Dr Sagar Mundada, a psychiatrist. “As there are hormonal changes, the vulnerability is higher. At times, decisions are taken at the spur of the moment. They leave the home only to realise later that the grass is not greener on the other side.”

The doctor said that parents should allow adolescents some amount of independence, but also keep a tab on children to ensure that they do not get into wrong things. “Parents should not be over-possessive. Let go a little and prioritise the bigger things in life,” said Mundada.

Most ‘kidnapped’ children were runaways

The police said that most cases of kidnapping of minors turn out to be incidents where the teenagers run away from home voluntarily.

The officers said that they had come across several cases, in which minors had run away from home, only to return later.

“There is a boy who ran away from the house repeatedly and then came back. We registered four cases of kidnapping or him,” said an officer who did not wish to be named. “We treat all cases seriously. Teenagers running away from home shows that there is lack of communication between children and parents. We, however, treat them as cases of kidnap and officers are deployed along with the family to trace the missing kid.”

Unlike the old method of broadcasting wireless messages, police now opt for WhatsApp. “Messages, pictures and descriptions are circulated to all senior police inspectors of 93 police stations across the city,” said the officer.

After a Supreme Court ruling that mandated that all missing juvenile cases were to be treated as cases of kidnapping, the instances have been on the rise, but many are found or return back. Earlier, the police had to register a case of kidnapping, but no, investigations begin immediately.

Citing an example, sources said that a teenaged boy from Nehru Nagar in Kurla went missing, after which his parents approached the police. He was found by the railway police at Panvel the same day. “The boy was brought back to Nehru Nagar police station. When we asked him what had happened, he told us that a man had offered him chocolate, which he took. After that, he remembered nothing. He said that he had woken up in a local train in Panvel,” said the officer. The police, however, took his story with a pinch of salt. “We asked his father to stay away talked to him alone, in a friendway way. He confessed that he had left home voluntarily to go out and have fun.”

After a minor goes missing, the police file an FIR under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 363 (kidnapping) against unknown persons. If the minor is found and there is no foul play involved, the police have to file a C Summary Case (a report filed if there is a criminal case filed by mistake or wrongly).


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First Published: May 22, 2017 00:56 IST