Published: 07th May 2018
Love-struck minors are giving police sleepless nights in Tiruvallur. Here's why
Love-struck minors are giving sleepless nights to police and parents in Tiruvallur district as police had to tackle 40 cases of missing girls in the last four months
Love-struck minors are giving sleepless nights to police and parents in Tiruvallur district as police had to tackle 40 cases of missing girls in the last four months. The figure had created a buzz with media speculating the cause for the ‘disappearances’. However, the culprit, if any, has more often turn out to be love.
Tiruvallur Superintendent of Police R Sibi Chakravarthy told Express that there has been a rise in the elopement of minor girls in the district. “It shot up to 15 per cent in the last five years. These girls are either studying Class X or XII,” says Chakravarthy, adding that 34 cases have been cracked.“Of the 34 cases that we have cracked, 20 are about missing girls, who eloped with their young lovers, who are either dropouts or jobless,” the SP says.
Influenced by Tamil movies, these youth elope and then police have to look for them.“In most cases, it is a one-night stand and police find them and rehabilitate them with their families. In several cases, the girls realise that the boys won’t be able to take care of them and they seek police help to reunite with parents,” Chakravarthy says.
He added that in the case of other girls aged 20 and above, they had run away to relatives’ homes far away and stayed there for a week and then returned home, often to avoid being married off. Reacting to the allegations that more than 100 girls have gone missing from Tiruvallur district, the police officer says, “It is a misinterpretation of facts. Some of the reports could have added missing cases in Ambattur, Avadi, Poonamallee and Madhavaram, which come under the Tiruvallur revenue district and not under the police district.”
Sociologists blame the influence of pop culture on youth. “The fact that peer groups convince them that living with parents is hectic and that they should live on their own after 18 as in western countries is also a reason,” says Puducherry-based sociologist Lorraine Pinto.
“For children from rural backgrounds, the desire to live in urban areas is usually high. Only some properly fulfil their desire by getting educated and then shifting to a better financial status. Sadly, most boys, who are school dropouts, join peers and then actors’ fan clubs,” she says.
“The idea of wooing a girl successfully motivates boys to attain what is generally perceived as bigger romantic achievement, which will give them recognition among the other boys. Since they do not have money, the maximum they can do is to continuously stalk the girls, speak to them cinematic dialogues and try to draw their attention,” she observes.
“Since they do not have money, the boys elope with girls and stay with friends in other districts. Finally, when it strikes the girls that nothing could be done, they go to the police, fearing reprisals from parents,” Pinto adds. The boys end up in jail while girls are sent home.
“The police department approaches this issue through the All Women Police Station where the woman police inspectors meet girls in every village once a week and enlighten them on the POCSO Act and consequences of eloping,” Chakravarthy said.