The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Teen sisters run away for love of Pathan

Vadodara, July 25 (PTI): Family triumphed over love when two Haryana-based teen sisters returned home almost a month after fleeing to meet and marry pace bowler Irfan Pathan.

Lakshmi Valmiki, 18, and her sister Seema, 15, were taken back to Yamunanagar in Harayana last evening after they failed to meet the golden boy of Indian cricket, family sources said. “It was their childishness that led them to do such a thing,” father Surajkumar Valmiki said.

The girls were initially reluctant to return home, he added, but gave in to parental demands after Irfan advised them to concentrate on studies during an interview with a private TV channel that was telecast yesterday.

Valmiki said he had withdrawn Rs 4,000 from his bank account and kept it in a cupboard at home in June. The girls took this money, he added, and secretly fled to Vadodara, the home city of the left-arm seamer.

The sisters faked their identities because they did not want their parents to trace them or the authorities of Nari Sanrakshan Gruh (women’s welfare home) to send them back home without having met their idol.

Lakshmi even wanted to propose to Irfan as she had fallen in love after watching him on television.

A local autorickshaw driver had taken the girls to the women’s home after driving them to the old and new addresses of Irfan in Mandvi and Tandalja localities and learning that he was playing the Asia Cup matches in Sri Lanka.

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