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Missing Haryana girl reunited with family after 11 years

The girl had gone missing from her Panipat school in 2007 when she was four.

punjab Updated: Jul 24, 2018 23:48 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Misisng girl found,Missing reunited family,Panipat
(Representative Image)

A 15-year-old girl of Panipat in Haryana returned home after 11 years on Monday. The girl, daughter of a security guard at a carpet factory in Panipat, had gone missing from her school in 2007 when she was four. She was traced by the Haryana Police’s crime branch at Balika Ashram (a shelter home) in Shimla.

Reportedly, she was admitted to Balika Ashram in Durgapur, 30 kms from Shimla by some policemen who found her at the Shimla railway station in 2007 and was shifted to the new shelter in Shimla two years ago.

Som Dutt and his wife Sunita ran from pillar to post to find their daughter all these years. They had filed a missing person’s report at Model town police station in Panipat in 2007.

“My daughter Pooja was four-year-old went she went missing from her school,” said the elated father with tears in his eyes.

Recollecting the helplessness and trauma the parents went through, Dutt said, “We pasted posters on walls in every nook and corner to find Pooja. I went to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi for years looking for her but never imagined that she would be in Himachal Pradesh.”

“We had given up all hope,” said the overwhelmed mother, adding, “I always remembered her when I saw my other five daughters and prayed to God to bring her back.”

“I am so happy to return home,” says Pooja, falling short of words to express her feeling. “ I will continue my studies,” she adds.

HOW SHE WAS TRACED

The crime branch’s anti-trafficking cell contacted different shelter homes across Haryana to gather information about the missing girl.

On July 19 this year, Balika Ashram at Tutti Kandi in Shimla called up the crime branch in Haryana and informed them about a girl from Haryana at the shelter. She, however, did not know the address or the place in Haryana she belonged to, but remembered her father Som Dutt’s name and that he worked in a carpet factory, the shelter told the officers.

The Haryana Police then spoke to the girl over phone while matching her identity from the missing report filed in 2007. Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Rajesh Kumar, after assuring Pooja’s identity, contacted the family in Panipat.

“As I received information about the girl from the Ashram, I went through the reports, contacted the Panipat police station and the later got in touch with Pooja’s father,” said the ASI.

The girl told the police that all she remembers was that the police found her and handed her to Balika Ashram in Durgapur, from where, she was shifted to Balika Ashram at Tutti Kandi two years ago.

First Published: Jul 24, 2018 13:13 IST