After top cop’s ultimatum, 27 missing girls rescued in 72 hours
SHAHJAHANPUR: In an instance of what the police department can actually accomplish if it wants to, a single stern directive from a top officer led to dozens of missing girls being rescued virtually overnight in Shahjahanpur. Superintendent of police (city) KB Singh had warned dozens of inspectors in the region about solving pending abduction cases of 39 girls in different police stations. Within 72 hours, 27 of the girls were found and rescued, while the hunt is on to find the other 12.
In the area, ‘perform or perish’ is the message as eight sub inspectors have been transferred to police lines for inefficiency and 24 others of the same rank have been directed to show results within 48 hours or face the music.
There were 39 cases pending in Shahjahanpur under section 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her mar-riage) and there were repeated complaints from the family members to recover the abducted girls. Most of the cases were pending since 2016 and one in Roza police station here since 2015, involving the abduction of a minor girl. After receiving warning from Singh, the investigating officer managed to rescue the girl swiftly. Roza police then went on to solve two more pending cases within the same period.
The policemen ended up finding the missing girls in places near and far. Two teens, missing for a year in each case, were found in Powayan, 30 km from here. Three girls who had been missing for months from Kalan, 55 km from here, were found in neighbouring villages. Police even managed to trace a missing teen to Chandigarh and bring her back, while two girls were found in Allahabad.
The officers investigating all such cases of abduction of women were given the liberty to go the extra mile in solving the cases, said officials. The policemen were told by Singh to give their undivided attention to the cases and ensure that the girls were found and sent back to their families at the earliest. After their medical tests were conducted, and their statements were recorded, the 27 rescued girls were sent home to their parents.
“Most of the rescued girls were minors. Some of them had even left their homes willingly, to be with the person they wanted to marry. However, the law does not allow them to get married before they turn 18, so the persons they eloped with will have to face charges of abducting a minor,” said an official, on condition of anonymity.
Singh told TOI, “There were quite a few pending cases where the abducted girls had not been rescued. I spoke to the parents, who were in tears. I then asked my officers to find and rescue the girls at the earliest, or prepare to move to police lines. I also told them to concentrate on the cases. They were provided extended support by the department in terms of travelling to other districts or states and the result is quite encouraging.”
Over this period, Singh said, 8 sub inspectors were transferred to police lines and they have been told to solve the cases while serving there. “The safety and security of women is our priority. We want to make sure that all girls and women in the state feel protected,” he added.