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Hostage girls on way home

- CID intervention helped

Ranchi, June 30: The 100-odd tribal girls from Jharkhand, who were allegedly held hostage by two nursing colleges in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh for failing to pay the course fee that was suddenly raised in the middle of the term, will return tomorrow.

State police, who got in touch with their Nellore counterpart after Jharkhand State Women Commission chairperson Mahua Maji wrote to the DGP, have been able to secure the girls’ release from Dileep School of Nursing, Vedayapalem, and Balaji School of Nursing in Talpagiri Colony, where they were pursuing a year’s diploma course in general nursing and midwifery.

The girls, hailing from very poor families, were put on Dhanbad Express (13352) at 2.43am today and will be arriving at Hatia station in Ranchi around 8.40am tomorrow. Two CID officers, who had gone to Nellore to hold talks with the administration, police and the nursing college authorities, are accompanying them.

“Soon after learning that over 100 girls were being held by two nursing colleges in Andhra, I informed DGP Rajeev Kumar, who took the matter seriously and put the CID on the job to bring back the girls. Thank God, the girls are coming back tomorrow. I am feeling relieved,” Maji said.

The Telegraph was the first to report on the plight of the girls on Saturday after one of them contacted Maji, saying they were not being allowed to attend classes or go out as they couldn’t pay the fee that was raised from Rs 53,000 to Rs 80,000 per annum five months into the course.

Additional director-general of CID S.N. Pradhan said they had constantly mounted pressure on Nellore police and the local administration for convincing the colleges to release the girls.

“We sent two of our officers to Nellore, who visited the college along with local officials. Coming under immense pressure, the colleges agreed to release the students,” Pradhan added.

Maji will be meeting the girls at her office around 11.30am soon after they returned. “We will first counsel them as they are bound to be under trauma after being kept confined in their hostel rooms,” she said.