All is well that ends well. M.K. Poojita, a student of National Public School, Rajajinagar, Bengaluru, who had gone missing since August 24, is now safely back home. But it was a journey full of danger and drama for the Grade 7 student and a nerve-wracking four days for her parents, her father S.K. Madhukrishna told OneIndia.
After boarding the school bus as usual outside her home on Wednesday last, 13-year-old Poojita had gone missing from just outside her school.
The girl, who had been upset that she had scored low in a mathematics test, had planned it all.
That morning, she had packed an extra pair of clothes into her school bag. When her mother asked her about it, she had said she had to dress up for a skit she was performing at school. She even took Rs. 600 from her mother saying she had to pay for the activity.
When she got off the bus outside the school gates, however, Poojita made her way to the railway station. She travelled on the Mysuru-Arsikere train and thence onto Mumbai and Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
It was at Ahmedabad railway station that a ticket collector took note of a lone teenager on the platform, who was asking about a train to Bengaluru.
While he advised her to board a train to Mumbai and from there to Bengaluru, he also alerted railway police, who through enquiries learnt that a missing girl complaint had been lodged for her in Bengaluru. They informed Bengaluru police.When the police informed Poojita's parents, they realised that the train would be passing through Hubballi, and immediately asked a relative to pick her up at the Hubballi station.
When the train from Mumbai rolled into Hubballi station at 12.30 pm on August 28, the relative found her, with the help of Railway Protection Force staff, tired and fast asleep.
Within hours, Madhukrishna and his wife reached Hubballi and were relieved to see their daughter safe. Four days of agony ended as the teenager ran and hugged her parents.
(This story has been updated to reflect new facts. The police were first alerted about the missing girl by a Railway TC in Ahmedabad, not Mumbai as an earlier version of the story had reported).