Two brothers, aged 16 and 9, who went missing on Saturday evening from their home in a village in Fatehpur subdivision of Kangra district kept cops, parents and villagers on toes whole night.
While dozens of policemen and locals frantically searched for the minors in nearby areas, along rivulets, lakes and border areas, the ‘carefree’ duo took rides on buses and trains travelling across states.
After an expansive search operation of over 12 hours, the officers were relieved when a truck driver spotted the boys at Bharmar railway station, just 15 kilometers from their home, and informed the family. The driver kept the boys in safe custody till the police reached the spot and handed over the kids to the family.
The boys, who were last seen at home on Saturday morning, had given their parents a ‘plausible reason’ to be out for Janmashtmi festivities being organised in the village market, Kangra senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vimukt Ranjan said.
However, as they didn’t returned home till late evening, the worried parents lodged a complaint at Fatehpur police station.
A case of kidnapping was registered and a massive search was launched.
Amid ‘child-lifting’ rumours , photos of the missing were circulated on social media, nakas were laid across the district and cops in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttrakhand and Jammu and Kashmir were alerted. Nurpur and Dehra deputy superintendents of police also rushed to Fatehpur.
“Announcements were made on public address systems and relatives and friends were contacted,” SSP Ranjan said. As the night bore down, searches were intensified as cops and villagers explored every possible area before the boys were spotted by a truck driver in the morning.
They just wanted a fun ride: SSP
“During the counselling, the boys narrated the whole story of their overnight journey that makes for a sort of adventure trip. They just wanted a fun ride,” the SSP said.
The elder one had taken ₹700 from home without knowledge of his parents. Instead of joining the Janamashtmi celebration, the duo decided to take a bus to Rehan, a small town near their village.
They then walked for 4kms to reach Bharmar railway station, boarded a train to Pathankot and reached the city at around 3pm.
Continuing with their ‘adventure trip’, they boarded another train and reached Jammu at 8pm.
Thereafter, the boys decided to return home and boarded a train to Pathankot and subsequently Bharmar.
At 6pm, the duo was waiting for a bus to Nurpur from Bharmar when they were spotted by a truck driver who had seen their missing post on social media sites.
“They have been reunited with the family after conducting medical examination,” the SSP said.
Similar incidents, involving two brothers and a girl, were reported in Una district last week.
Aug 25, 2019 21:56 IST