(Prakash Samaga, TNN)
UDUPI: There are several cases of boys and girls missing that are registered in various police stations in Udupi district. According to police statistics, as many as 1,722 missing cases were registered in the district from 2000 to 2013. This means an average of 132 persons per year, majority of whom were youths, have gone missing every year.
These alarming numbers are a cause for worry. Though police say that of the 1,722 missing cases, 1,558 were traced later, the very reason behind the problem is socio-economic and psychological.
Sources in the District Crime Record Bureau (DCRB) told TOI that of the 158 missing cases reported in 2011, 138 were traced within a gap of two months. Of the 162 missing cases in 2012, 127 were traced and of the 76 missing cases reported in 2013 till May 31, 51 have been traced. There are 22 girls still missing in the age group of 18 to 25 in the district since January 2012 from areas like Kundapur, Brahmavara, Malpe, Karkala, Manipal, Shirva, Kaup, Byndoor, Udupi.
In most of the cases of teenagers missing, family issues and love affairs are the reasons. However if a girl below the age of 18 goes away with the boy, a kidnap case will be registered against the boy under section 366 of the Indian Penal Code.
Renowned psychiatrist Dr P V Bhandary told TOI that the youths in the age group of 18 to 28 are prone to severe depression which may lead to psychological diseases if their woes are not addressed in time.
Psychological diseases like schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorder start to haunt the young minds of this age group and as a result they run away from home. Either the overconfidence which makes them to plot big ideas or due to severe depression the patient emotionally breaks down and this will make him/her run away from home.
Even an urge for wanting to be identified (commonly found in the age group of 13 to 19 years) among companions also provokes them to run away.
When the mania goes, they come back. But concern should be shown to them when they return. They also should be monitored by the parents or else there are chances of they repeating the act. They may also attempt suicide. Hence, extra care should be taken of such people, he said