‘Missing’ Karachi girls recovered from Lahore, wanted to go to South Korea to meet K-pop band BTS: police
Two teenage girls from Karachi, who were reported to have gone missing last week from the city’s Korangi area, have been recovered from Lahore, police said on Tuesday.
According to police, the two teenagers were massive fans of K-pop sensation BTS and had intended to travel to South Korea to meet them.
Korangi Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Abraiz Ali Abbasi told Dawn.com that initial investigations showed the two girls had not been kidnapped and had voluntarily travelled to Lahore.
“They intended to go to Korea to meet and join BTS as they were extremely inspired by the band,” he said.
The girls had disappeared last week from Karachi’s Korangi area following which a first information report (FIR) was registered at the Zaman Town police station on January 7 under Section 364-A (kidnapping or abducting a person under the age of fourteen) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The complainant, Mohammed Junaid, said that he was at his home with his 13-year-old daughter when her friend, also aged 13, arrived. He said that he went to the roof but when he returned, he saw that both the girls were nowhere to be found.
Junaid said that his family told him they saw the two girls going outside. He went on to say that later the father of his daughter’s friend also arrived asking about her whereabouts. The complainant said the two searched for hours but could not trace the two girls.
The complainant had said he suspected that unknown persons had kidnapped the girls for some “ulterior motive”.
SSP Abbasi, however, said that investigators had visited the home a day after the case was registered. There, officials discovered a diary belonging to one of the girls which mentioned train fares and also “revealed that they were fans of the Korean band,” he said.
“The girls also intended to take their relative Naufil along with them but he refused to join,” the SSP said, adding that police had recorded his statement.
Subsequently, Abbasi said that an extensive search campaign was launched by the Korangi police, railway police and their counterparts in Lahore, leading to the girls’ recovery.
He went on to say that a team had travelled to Lahore on Tuesday to bring back the two girls to Karachi. “However, the girls could not be brought back due to heavy smog,” he added.
In a separate video statement, the SSP urged parents to monitor their children’s screen time. He noted that such incidents triggered “panic and fear” in society and parental guidance was needed to protect young and impressionable children.