Google Maps helped police reunite a father with his 12-year-old daughter who had gone missing over four months ago in Delhi, officials said. The girl had taken an e-rickshaw near the Kirti Nagar furniture market in Holi on March 21, according to the police. When the minor did not get down at the metro station, the e-rickshaw driver asked her where she wanted to go, but she did not give any reply. He took her to the Kirti Nagar police station at 8.33 pm, a senior officer said. Also Read - Google Maps can now show you bike sharing stations on app with real-time updates
During an initial inquiry, the girl could not remember her house and just said she was from “Khurja” village and her father’s name was Jeetan, the officer said. Police searched Khajuri Khas and Khureji areas of Delhi since their names are similar to the word ‘Khurja’, but could not find any records of missing complaints being filed. Also Read - Google Maps adds 3 new 'India-inspired' features; brings offers, deals and redesigned Explore tab
They took the girl to the nearby JJ colony, but no one could identify her. The girl, who is mentally-challenged, also said that she had traveled to Delhi by train a couple of days ago with an uncle named ‘Pintu’. He took off her clothes in the train’s washroom and left her there when she started crying, police said. Also Read - Mumbai Floods: How to report road closure on Google Maps
On March 22, her medical examination was conducted and no sign of sexual assault was found. A case was registered under Section 354A (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the POCSO acts. She was handed over to an NGO named Nirmal Chhaya, the police said.
The 12-year-old was taken to Khurja village in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district by a police team on four different occasions, but they did not get any clue about her family, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Monika Bhardwaj said.
“We kept trying to trace her family but could not get any lead. She was not being able to say the name of her village properly,” Bhardwaj said. “The police team had gone to Khurja several times, but no one could recognize her there.”
When a police team was taking the girl to Khurja again on July 31, a senior officer asked her the names of nearby areas of her village. She said Sonbarsa was her mother’s village and there was a place called Sakapar near her village. Thereafter, with the help of Google Maps, the police got to know that in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharthnagar district, there are villages with the name of Sakapar, Sonbarsa and “Kurja”. Later, her family was also traced by the police.
On August 1, her father Jeetan, a native of Kurja village, came to Delhi from Gorakhpur, the police said. Jeetan said he brought his daughter to the capital for treatment at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS). The girl went missing on Holi from his sister’s house at JJ colony in Kirti Nagar, but he did not file any missing complaint, the police said.
Jeetan, who works at a scrap factory in Delhi, said his wife, who lives at her parent’s house in Sonbarsa, was mentally-challenged and she had also gone to some random place around one-and-a-half years ago, according to the police.
“Around three-four months later, she was traced in Ludhiana, Punjab. Similarly, he thought that police will find his daughter also.” Jeetan, who also has a son and another daughter, said there was no uncle by the name of Pintu, following which the case of sexual harassment was dropped, the police said.