Shimla: Nearly 850 women and girls have gone missing in Himachal Pradesh in the last five years, say police.
This has come to light during a suo motu case initiated by the state high court on the basis of a missive from a father whose married daughter went missing in September 2010 and has remained untraced.
Describing the alarming number of women and girls who go missing every year as shocking, a division bench comprising Chief Justices Kurian Joseph and Sanjay Karol Tuesday directed the additional director general of police (CID) to constitute a special state-level unit and investigate all such cases.
The official was also directed to submit a preliminary report before the court with regard to the progress in every case within six weeks.
Earlier in the case, the court had directed the inspector general of police to file a consolidated district-wise report of all women who went missing in the past five years and have remained untraced so far.
As per the police affidavit provided to the court Tuesday, there are 848 cases of missing women and girls in the state. Una district has the maximum number of 166 missing women cases, followed by 127 from Mandi district and 96 from Sirmaur district.
Petitioner Ramesh Chand of a village in Solan district has alleged that his daughter Kiran Bala has been missing since September 2010, but police have been unable to trace her. He also alleged that Bala`s in-laws had a hand in her disappearance.