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108 service saves girl

Shillong, July 16: A girl who was kidnapped and raped in Dimapur, Nagaland, managed to flee her captor with the help of the 108 emergency response service in Meghalaya.

Around 2.44am today, the Emergency Response Centre of the GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), Meghalaya, received a distress call from Dimapur. The caller, a young woman, said she had been kidnapped by a person she knew, said GVK EMRI media relations officer Aurelius Robert Passah.

Nagaland does not have an official 108 service but all the northeastern states, except Assam, share the same telecom circle and local calls made from neighbouring states often land at 108 Meghalaya.

Quoting the girl, Passah said the girl informed that her captor had lured her to a hotel in Dimapur on the pretext of taking her home.

In distress and with no money in her phone to call her parents, the girl dialled 108.

Emergency response officer Alleans Sangma, who attended to the call, helped the girl connect with her father via conferencing.

During the conference call, the victim disclosed that she had been raped. Sangma immediately informed the police control room in Shillong, which, in turn, contacted their counterparts in Dimapur.

By this time, the victim managed to escape from the hotel (it is unclear how she fled) and spotted an autorickshaw. The emergency response officer asked her to hand over the phone to the auto driver and instructed him to take her to the nearest police station.

Nagaland police said the girl had been shifted to East Town police station and the kidnapper arrested, Passah said.

The GVK EMRI service, in the Northeast, is operational only in Assam and Meghalaya.

This is the second time in recent memory that GVK EMRI, Meghalaya, has received such a distress call.

A few years ago, a girl had called up 108 from the Mawkdok area, along the Sohra (Cherrapunjee) road in East Khasi Hills. She had gone with some friends at the time and Sangma was the emergency response officer who had attended to that call too. He had directed her to a village after some persons allegedly tried to rape her.


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