In what comes as a heartwarming story, 16-year-old Pooja Gaud was reunited with her mother nine years after she was allegedly kidnapped by a couple barely a kilometre away from where she lived in a slum in Juhu. The news of Pooja going missing made headlines when Assistant Sub Inspector Rajendra Bhosale, who was in charge of the missing persons’ bureau at DN Nagar police station for five year from 2010 to 2015, said that his team had managed to find all the children reported missing at his bureau except Pooja. As per a report by Hindustan Times, Bhosale said, “I still carry her photo in my wallet.” He then retired in 2015.
“Even after my retirement, I thought about the girl every day and prayed that she is found. I am elated and I can now rest without any more tension,” Bhosale said.
Now, DN Nagar police has registered a first information report (FIR) against Harry D’Souza and his wife, Soni. Both of them are residents of Juhu Galli. The FIR has been filed under sections 363 (kidnapping), 365 ( intent for abduction), 368 (wrongful confinement ), 370 ( trafficking) and 374 (unlawfully compelling a person for labour ) of the Indian Penal Code. D’Souza was arrested late Thursday night and remanded to police custody till August 10.
Pooja went missing on January 22, 2013. It happened when she was walking to the municipal school, which is located about a kilometre from her residence. Her older brother Rohit was walking ahead of her.
While speaking to Hindustan Times, Rohit said, “We left the house together for school. I was walking little bit ahead. At one point, I turned back to check on her, but I couldn’t see her. I went to school and after attending one lecture I went to her classroom and asked the class teacher if Pooja had reached. She told me that Puja had not come to school.”
Pooja explained how D’Souza and his wife took her out of Mumbai for several years. She claimed that on January 22, the D’Souza’s took her to Haji Malang in Kalyan, famous for a fort located on a hill. They stayed there for two days. However, on returning, they took a room in the same locality.