Four girls who reportedly went missing from Lahore’s Sabzazar area on Sunday have been found in Rawalpindi. Police took the four girls into custody at Rawalpindi’s railway station.
In a statement recorded with the police, the girls said they had left their homes at 6 pm on Sunday. They claimed they had left on their own and were not with anyone else.
The girls’ families had blocked Multan road in Lahore the previous day to protest what they had thought was another incidence in the kidnapping spree that has hit Punjab in recent days.
A wave of anxiety has gripped the province following kidnapping of 600 children from Lahore and other parts of Punjab within a short span of time. However, Punjab police has said that most of these children fled from domestic violence.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing a suo moto case on missing children.
More than a dozen children went missing from Badami baagh (garden) in Lahore in the past few months alone. Last week, a child was discovered dead in the same area, who had reportedly been murdered after being tortured.
The police, meanwhile, has maintained that not all of the missing children were kidnapped. Additional Inspector General Police Shahzada Sultan, citing statistics, said that during 2015 kidnapping cases of 1,134 children were registered in Punjab, of whom 1,093 were recovered. This year 681 cases have been registered, whereas 640 children have been recovered already. Many of the missing children belong to poor families.