Bengaluru witnessed a sharp spike in cases of kidnapped minor girls who remained untraced in 2021. On the other hand, the Police have said that most of the cases were reported in the last quarter of the year; thus, they would be traced at the earliest. The Police records show that 105 girls amongst 578 girls kidnapped are yet to be traced. Moreover, the number of girls who remained untraced is ten times more than in 2020. About 463 girls were abducted in 2020, out of which 453 were rescued, and in 2019, 600 girls were abducted, out of which 585 were rescued.
Elopement, Kidnapping Cases: Police
The Times of India quoted a former DCP saying that 90 per cent of the cases are of elopement, and the Police find it difficult to trace since the girls get settled in some corner of the state or the country. Further, he added that the girl and the boy would have gotten married in several cases as well. Moreover, he said, "they either stop using their mobile phones or change their number to remain incommunicado. Sometimes, we get the leads after contacting her family or friends. Some elopement cases are solved quickly while other drag on".
Since the parents of the minor girls are not sure if it is a case of elopement or kidnaps, they register the case under IPC Section 363 (kidnapping). However, when it is confirmed that the girl had eloped and had developed physical relations with the accused, the case is converted to POCSO Act under IPC Section 366A.
A study by The Lancet covered that more than half of global missing female births take place in India. Moreover, the study also mentioned that girls suffer more discrimination than boys because of several socio-economic, historical and cultural factors.