Hyderabad: A trip to Vizag by five Class VII girls spread panic among their parents at Amberpet on Thursday. The girls, aged between 12 and 13, left for Vishakapatnam as per their plan, without informing parents. They were found on Friday at the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP) in Vizag by the police. The girls from Pragati Vidyaniketan School in Bapunagar, came back home from school and took a train to Vizag. The students are G. Sangeetha, Nandini G., Prathibha, E. Srinidhi and Preethi V. After a complaint by parents, Amberpet police tracked them down to a zoo in Vizag.
Parents said the girls came home from school on Thursday and changed into regular clothes. They then asked their parents for money saying they are going to a friend’s place. “I saw them in the colony and after sometime I saw the parents searching for them,” said a resident. Pratibh’'s mother, who was at the police station said, “She asked me for money to go to a friend’s place. She started crying when I refused. As soon as I gave the money she left saying she will be back soon.”
Police tracked one girl’s phone signals to Gannavaram. “One of the girls, Sangeetha, was carrying a mobile phone. Her father was asked by the police to send her an SMS using which they traced her location. The first signal was from the Vijayawada-Ganna-varam area,” said Amberpet inspector A.P. Anand Kumar. He said the girls were carrying `12,500 with them. They had also invited another girl but she had refused.
The girls were planning a 2-day trip to celebrate the birthday of Sangeetha and planned to visit Vizag beach, temple and zoo. They planned to come back on Sunday. Four police teams were deputed for the search. Zoo staff recognised the girls from photographs in the news and alerted the Arilova police, who took the girls into custody. The police informed their parents and put the girls in a juvenile home near the rural tahsildar office in Vizag. “The girls are safe and will be brought to the city on Saturday,” confirmed DCP V. Satyanarayana.