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Romantic fiction spurs real whodunit

- Hazaribagh agog over curious case of 17-year-old writer of puppy love, his missing ‘girlfriend’ & her furious dad

Google Gyandeep Kaushal and you will find numerous references to his debut novel The Teen. Now, 17-year-old Gyandeep, the toast of Hazaribagh even days ago, is accused of blurring fiction with fact.

Twelfth grader of St Xavier’s School, arts stream, Gyandeep who shot into fame as the writer of the 593-page campus love story, is now accused of masterminding the disappearance of his classmate, allegedly his girlfriend.

The girl’s father — her name is being withheld to protect her privacy — filed an FIR on Sunday evening at Sadar police station. He said his daughter eloped with Gyandeep on December 6, was in regular touch with him and demanded the boy’s arrest.

On December 9, Sadar police lodged a case against Gyandeep numbered 964/12 under Sections 363, 366A and 120(B) and started to investigate his classmate’s disappearance as well as his role in it. Ironically, less than a fortnight ago, Gyandeep’s book was released by deputy inspector general of North Chhotanagpur Commissionerate Suman Gupta on November 26.

Dragging Gyandeep’s parents into the alleged elopement, the girl’s father, a college lecturer, accused Gyandeep’s mother Rita of trying to force the marriage of these two teenagers.

Residents of the city’s Matwari Mohalla, Gyandeep’s family is educated middle class. Dad Ramchandra Gargain is a junior engineer in the rural development department, mother Rita a teacher in an Ichak government school and elder brother Vaibhav Kaushal a web designer.

It may be far-fetched to assume an educated lady like Gyandeep’s mother would want two school-going minors to get married.

Also, two Plus Two students having an affair — no matter how unpalatable it is for parents — is not a legal offence. But a boy whisking away a girl is.

When The Telegraph contacted Gyandeep on Monday afternoon, he admitted to “being friends” with the girl but denied kidnap charges.

“Yes, the girl studies in my class and is my friend. But I have no role in her disappearance,” he added.

Deputy superintendent of police Satish Chandra Jha said they were probing the matter. “We will unearth facts before taking action in this case,” he said.

As far as the boy’s romantic involvement with the girl is concerned, many are drawing clues from Gyandeep’s book.

Gyandeep, who called his novel “inspired from real life”, wrote about a schoolboy, Ravi Sharma, who falls in love with classmate Nikki Tiwary. Parents act as spoilsports. Finally, Ravi sacrifices his love seeing Nikki’s life under threat.

In real life, if the two teenagers had an affair and met with parental opposition, facts are fuzzy about how the youngsters reacted.

But the important point in the case is that the girl is missing since December 6. Also, that the accused youngster is already a precocious talent — Mumbai-based Leadstart Publishing, which brought out his novel has priced it at Rs 295 per copy.

Both youngsters are students of a renowned school. Scandal at this age — not to speak of the juncture, barely three months before ISC boards — can damage their studies beyond repair.