A missing girl, a known militant story in Manipur

FP14-year-old Alice (right) with a cousin. File photo

Alice Kamei had been missing for two days when Sundari got the call. What the voice on the other end said about her 14-year-old daughter has turned the world of this family living in Chingphu Kabui village in Manipur's Bishnupur district upside down.

"It was a call from the RPF (Revolutionary People's Front). They said that Alice had come to them of her own will," says Sundari. "They asked to speak to her father. My husband wasn't home at the time. I asked for my daughter and they said they would call the next day at 6 in the evening. They told us not to go to the police or the media, or we would not hear from her."

When they talked the next day, the 35-year-old says, both she and Alice were in tears. "I asked her, 'Don't you love us, don't you love your younger brother? Why did you leave?'," says Sundari, breaking down. According to her, Alice replied that she loved them all very much and "desperately wants to come back". "'Please please come and get me. I don't know where I am but come and get me'," she told her mother. The phone got disconnected before her father, 45-year-old Chakri Kamei, could speak to her.

That was March 13. The family hasn't heard from Alice in the 45 days since.

It was at 6 pm, March 10, that the Kameis first had an inkling that something was wrong. They received a call from Grace Reach Academy in Thoubal district of Manipur, a boarding school where both their children studied, asking if Alice had by any chance come home. "I was shocked... They told me they couldn't find her," says Sundari.

As the reports filed by the Kakching police station in Thoubal district earlier this month say, Alice and her 15-year-old friend Sanakalbi Khaidem went missing from the school at 11.30 am that day. It was a Sunday and most officials were not present on the campus. The girls were accompanied by a school helper, Elangbam Rojita Devi.

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