The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Age confusion puzzles cops
- Father claims daughter minor, but girl denies

Bhubaneswar, June 2: The duty of police does not end with rescuing a kidnapped girl. More so, if there is a controversy over the age of the recovered girl. The Khandagari police realised it today.

A man accused of kidnapping a minor girl from Naput village was forwarded to the court today.

But conflicting reports about the girl’s age have given the law-enforcers a headache.

While the girl has claimed that she is 20, her father and complainant is claiming that Shilpi (name changed) is a minor.

According to police records, Shilpi, a resident of Naput village, was having an affair with her neighbour, Babina Nayak (22). The duo had eloped on April 26.

After Shilpi’s father, Prahllad Nayak, lodged an FIR with Khandagiri police station, investigation began and the couple were nabbed yesterday. The duo was planning to get married in a temple when they were arrested.

When the police tried to book Babina for abducting a minor, Shilpi vehemently denied being kidnapped and said she was 20. But her father claimed that it had not been 18 years since his marriage.

“We have done an ossification test to confirm her correct age,” said the inspector in charge of Khandagiri police station, Sashibhushan Satpathy.

“But even this test has a margin of error that could be close to two years.”

According to the girl’s high school certificate, which Prahllad produced after the police asked for it, Shilpi’s date of birth has been stated as 1991, which would make her 16. But Shilpi said she had dropped out of school for two years.

Satpathy said: “We will produce her before a magistrate today and go by his ruling. As she doesn’t want to go to her parents’ place or any government home, only a magistrate can determine where she would be lodged.”

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