Missing Snapdeal employee: When the Web went on a hunt

Missing Snapdeal employee is found after massive online manhunt triggered by the firm. Dipti Sarna, 24, is finally back with her family.

Users with Twitter on their devices may have noticed the #HelpFindDipti notification popping up every second. Well, that was because the hashtag was responsible for one of the biggest digital-age manhunts ever launched in the country.

The hashtag was triggered the minute Snapdeal was informed employee Dipti Sarna, 24, never made it home after taking an autorickshaw to get home from her office in Ghaziabad on Wednesday night.

She has since been found and the young staffer is resting at home after her ordeal. In fact, company founder Kunal Bahl himself took to social media first, tweeting about Dipti on Thursday afternoon soon after he was informed she had gone missing.

“Deeply disturbed by news of our @Snapdeal team member getting abducted yest. We are working closely with authorities to secure her safety,” he wrote.

And a few hours later, the company started pushing the hashtag #HelpFindDipti, along with details and a photo of its staffer — in both English and Hindi. This message was also sent to all of its customers who had subscribed to Snapdeal’s feed on Twitter.

But the campaign received further boost when UP CM Akhilesh Yadav took note of the message’s urgency, directing his police teams to take immediate action.
“UPCM @yadavakhilesh has instructed SSP GZB to head the search operation of #HelpFindDipti. Several teams formed,” he wrote.

Officials then launched a multi-city manhunt using drones and PCR vans based on Dipti’s last known location. A person Dipti last spoke to claims he heard her screaming.

On Friday though, the girl was reunited with her family. An early tweet from the UP Government revealed Dipti’s family was finally in touch with her —38 hours after she went missing.

“Ms.Dipti spoke to her parents; soon to join them; we are eagerly awaiting for her return,” an official representing the government tweeted.

An hour later, Snapdeal itself shared the news. “The Snapdeal family is thrilled that our friend, Dipti Sarna has been reunited with her family. We are grateful to the chief minister of UP, the UP police and members of the media who helped us during this difficult hour. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who supported the search efforts by sharing details on social media. We are humbled by your love and support,” a statement read on Friday.

What happened

Early reports suggest Dipti’s kidnappers forced her out of a shared autorickshaw she had taken to get home. Spooked by all the attention on social media and on the TV channels, the four men are believed to have tried their best to keep Dipti mobile.

“They travelled with Dipti the entire night, sometimes in an i10 car, sometimes on a bike. They made Dipti walk around 10 kilometres,” Ghaziabad senior superintendent of police Dharmendra Singh was quoted as saying in reports.

“The men don’t appear to have physically harmed Dipti. She is being given some time to rest. The investigation is on and we will prepare a sketch of the four men,” he added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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