Six girls were reported missing from a state government-owned Children's Home for Girls at Vellimadukunnu in Kerala’s Kozhikode district on the evening of Wednesday, January 26. Now, two of the six girls have been traced to Bengaluru, police said.
Police officials attached to the Chevayur station told TNM that the missing girls are between the ages of 14 and 17. The two who were found in Bengaluru are 14 and 16 years old, respectively, they said. The two are yet to be brought back to Kerala, the officials added. A complaint was filed by state Home Ministry authorities and a First Information Report (FIR) has been registered under section 57 of Kerala Police Act (Police to attempt to locate missing persons). An investigation into the matter is underway, they said.
According to PTI, the State Commission for Protection of Children's Rights has reportedly registered a suo moto case. Police suspect that the girls had escaped with outside support and made it to Bangalore on Wednesday night, by train or bus. The CCTV footage revealed that they escaped from the home using a ladder facilitated by outsiders, police said. Police also confirmed to TNM that this was not a case of abduction.
According to a report in The New Indian Express, the children were at the government home for lunch and at the ensuing Republic Day function in the afternoon. The report further states that the state commission has directed the district police to submit a report soon, and has also sought a report from the district child protection officer and authorities of the children’s home.
The report also says that the children had escaped from the home and that the girls were admitted in the home on the instructions of the district Child Welfare Committee.
(With PTI inputs)