Missing eight-year-old girl found after five hours in Sharjah

Father of Indian girl urges parents to be vigilant after daughter slips out of her home in Al Musalla area soon after her mother went for her evening shift duty.

By Sajila Saseendran/senior Reporter

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Published: Tue 21 Oct 2014, 12:23 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:50 PM

An Indian father has urged parents to be more vigilant about children after his eight-year-old daughter went missing for some five hours in an unusual escapade on Saturday evening.

Tips for parents

> Educate childrenabout the dangers of going out alone

> Make themlearn yourcontacts and home andoffice address

> Teach themhow to seek help if lost

> Keep the homelocked when you sleep leaving the kids to play

> If a child cannotbe traced, file a missing complaint

> Do not forgetto withdraw complaint after child isback safe

The father has also appealed to community members, who kept forwarding the missing girl’s photo on WhatsApp and Facebook, to spread the message of her safe return with the help of Sharjah Police.

A grade three student of Our Own School, Sharjah, slipped out of her home in Al Musalla area in Rolla by 5.30pm, soon after her mother went for her evening shift duty.

Her father S.L. told Khaleej Times he was sleeping with his one-year-old daughter when the incident took place. It was when the mineral water supply staff woke him up that he realised that the elder child was not at home.

“Usually she doesn’t go out other than to her friend on the upper floor. Initially, I thought she was playing there.”

However, the girl could not be traced anywhere in the building and surroundings, following which a massive search was launched with the help of friends and neighbours.

“I’m thankful to all the people who helped. Many people in the building and nearby shops joined me in searching for her. People distributed her photo and also spread the message on WhatsApp and Facebook. Now that she is back safe, I request all who have forwarded the missing message to spread the news of her return.”

Many had shared the photo of the girl which was carried online by a Malayalam newspaper.

By 7pm, a complaint was lodged with the Sharjah Police who also swung into action. The CCTV visuals showed the child leaving her building, going to the nearby supermarket, and then to the next street and other areas in the locality.

S.L. said his daughter was finally spotted by a passerby near Joy Alukkas Centre in Rolla. “He asked her why she is alone and took her details. Then he sought the help of a family to get her back to us. That is when the CID officials identified her and called me to verify if it is her.”

“I don’t know what made her go out like this. There was no instance of us scolding her to make her leave home. She had never given any signal that she would do any such thing. But I’m surprised she did not look scared and she did not cry in the CCTV visuals I saw,” said S.L.

“This is a warning to parents. We need to be extra careful,” he added.

The father and daughter later went to the police station and withdrew the complaint.

sajila@khaleejtimes.com



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