Hockey player goes missing from train after national championship
Karishma Sonkar, a 16-year-old national hockey player from Uttar Pradesh, mysteriously disappeared from a train on 8th January. As reported in The Indian Express, the teenager was participating at an under-17 national tournament in Ranchi organised by School Games Federation of India, and was supposed to get off the train at Bareilly station.
Karishma’s elder brother Saurabh got worried after his sister did not show up outside the station. Her family and friends searched for her for four days after the incident. She couldn’t be contacted either as her phone was switched off. On Sunday, they finally lodged a missing complaint in a police station in Bareilly. “We did as we were told by family friends,” Saurabh said.
Karishma’s elder sister Kirti said that she spoke with her sister, a class 10 student of Pilibhit’s Virangana Rani Awantibai College, during the latter’s train journey. She was on the Jallianwalabagh Express and had crossed Faizabad. She was alone on the journey as the rest of the team and the coach had got off at Faizabad.
The mystery over the hockey player’s disappearance has sent shock waves throughout the country. It is still not known whether Karishma reached Bareilly or not. When her cell phone was tracked, the police traced her last location to Barabanki, near Lucknow. Barabanki, which is around 250 km away from Bareilly, is a stop on route from Faizabad.
Although it is not sure if there is any foul play, her father Ram Bahadur has expressed doubts on the coach, Rahul Singh. “When we called her coach Rahul, who was accompanying her with half-a-dozen other players, he kept confusing us and didn’t give any conclusive reply,” he said
Saurabh also suggested that Karishma’s excellent performances made her a target. “We are apprehensive of some foul play because she was making an impression in the game and rising up the ladder of success,” he stated.
Rahul Singh was rather bemused with the whole situation. “We have no idea what happened and why she could not reach Bareilly,” he said.