Rayagada: Three minor tribal girls of a government-run residential school in Odisha`s Rayagada district have been missing for last nine days even as their worried parents launched a dharna to know whereabouts of their wards, police said on Monday.
The girls, aged around six years, were class-I students of the government-run Sevashram school at Munigaon in Gunpur.
Informing the school authorities that they were missing their parents, the trio had left for their respective villages nearby on September 2, they said.
"As their parents complained that the students had not reached their houses, we had lodged a missing report with the police next day", headmaster of the school Mihir Chandra Pradhan said.
The district welfare officer (DWO), Santosh Kumar Mishra, who visited the school two days back, said efforts are on to locate the students and an inquiry was on to ascertain the circumstances under which they left the school.
The co-education school with classes upto 7th standard has 100 hostelers besides other students and is run by the state ST & SC Development, Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare Department.
The missing girls are Pita Patika, Sinduri Bidika and Chandreya Sabar of nearby Suludiguda, Badasangeri and Sanasangeri villages respectively.
"We want return of our children. Unless and until we see them, we will continue dharna in front of the school", the parents said.
Students leaving for their house intermittently on some plea or other without seeking any permission from school authorities is a routine matter. However, when encountered with a situation of the present nature, the incident comes to light, locals said.