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India

Missing Girl Found 9 Years After Abduction, Kidnappers Held In Mumbai

Pooja was one of the 166 minor girls who went missing between 2008-2015 in the area under Dadabhai Naoroji police station.

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Image used for Representational Purpose only. (ANI Photo)

New Delhi: Mumbai police on Thursday, traced and reunited a seven-year old girl Pooja Gaud with her mother and siblings after nine and half years, who went missing in 2013. The police arrested electrician Harry D’souza and his wife Sony for kidnapping Pooja Gaud (now 16) in 2013.

Pooja was one of the 166 minor girls who went missing between 2008-2015 in the area under Dadabhai Naoroji police station.

The then officer in-charge, assistant sub-inspector Rajendra Bhosale, who is retired from the force, along with his team had tracked down 165 girls from the total 166 missing and Pooja was the 166th minor girl who was recorded in the files at DN Nagar police station.

The girl was kidnapped on January 22, 2013 and she was last seen by her brother Rohit. She was sitting on a perch on the road near their school, the Cama Road Municipal School in Andheri.

Even hours before his retirement, sub-inspector Bhonsale was still hoping for a clue which could have helped him to find the 166th girl. He also revisited every detail which he might have skipped accidentally. Bhosale had a big regret of not being able to find Pooja. He had carried her photograph for almost two years in a hope to find her. He even used to carry a bunch of photographs of Pooja when he used to travel out of Mumbai.

According to DN Nagar senior inspector Milind Kurde, the people who abducted Pooja had lured her with a promise to buy an ice cream. Kurde said that D’souza and his wife did not have children so they kept Pooja with them and named her Annie. Three years later when they had a child, the couple used to make Pooja do household work and they even made her work as a maid at other places.

For Pooja’s mother who is a peanut seller, her uncle Vinod and her two brothers, the joy of seeing her again is unbelievable.

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