Gunjan - 14 years old, a rare brave-heart school girl offered her life to save 11 kids from kidnappers

Miss Gunjan Sarmah
December 4, 2013; afternoon at about 14:30 hours, a total of 16 school children of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Nazira, Assam were on their way back home by one Omni Van including Ms Gunjan Sarmah. Gunjan, 14 years old, is a Class-VIII student living with parents at Simaluguri town in Sivasagar district. After dropping 4 students near Simaluguri Police Station the Van was carrying other 12 students.
The distance was merely 100 meters from the Simaluguri Police Station; suddenly a stranger with arms (9mm pistol) obstructed the way.
He fired in blank  4 rounds of bullets, stopped the Van and forcibly occupied the front seat and afterwards threatened the driver, instructed to carry the vehicle to Mautgaon along Assam-Nagaland border via Rahdoiali through Santak Tea Estate.

The self-employed owner-cum-driver of the vehicle was a healthy man and perhaps could do something against the stranger, but it was stated that the armed stranger was triggering 
to kids’ lives, so he put his intelligence and foresight and sidetracked the vehicle into a drain near Santak tea garden near to save the lives of the innocent children.

All the students were in panic. Gunjan, the senior most to all students travelling prayed the criminal to set her friends free and volunteered her life to become his target for safeguarding them all. Then the lawless stranger dragged Gunjan towards the dense forests of the Assam-Nagaland border leaving other kids.

In the meantime, the local public of Simaluguri, members of various students’ as well as youth organizations and police personnel arrived the spot and tried to tackle the situation. The gathered people coming for rescue speeded up to surround the border areas and jungles searching Gunjan and armed kidnapper. Thus the Sun started setting down and dusk fallen over the dense forests on the earth. The gravity of the situation was realized perhaps by the kidnapper and quite before morning sunlit, he escaped to somewhere else in the dark leaving little Gunjan in the jungle. At that time, Gunjan did not know about the position of the kidnapper, but she did not go away the chance to be free from such horrifying condition. Gunjan fearlessly run from that location and reached a village nearby at about 1 to 2 kms distance. She got into a household in a complete panic and frenzied condition. She was not provided any kind of food and even drinking water and warm cloth to wear in this cold winter whole the night under the custody of the kidnapper. She stated that she was asked to stay under a tree in the jungle in the night and threatened not to speak and shout.

In the media, Gunjan expressed that they crossed a river and walked through the forest for some time and stopped at one place, it was pitching dark and hence, she could not see even a thing.

The villagers where Gunjan reached fleeing from the kidnappers showed good hospitality and nourished her with food and lit firewood for getting her warm and helped her to be stable. The villagers informed the nearby police station. The Village Defense Party and the local village people took Gunjan under safe custody to proceed to Bihubar Police Station where she was received by her father Shri Shankar Sarmah, a small businessman and her mother in the early in the morning on 5th December, 2013. Thus the ordeal of Gunjan of about 18 hours came to the culmination.

Gunjan aims to be a Teacher in life so that she can teach many minds and enlighten the society. She has proved as a rare brave-heart girl, a true human being, at her age of 14 years. While talking to media she expressed that the kidnapper might be a good human being, hence, he did nothing against.

Shri Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister, Assam announced a cash reward of Rs.2 lakh to Gunjan for her bravery. Shri Chandan Brahma, Minister of Transport, Assam announced a sum of Rs.30,000 as reward to Gunjan. Dr.Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister of Education and Health, Assam announced a cash reward of Rs.25,000 to Gunjan for such a rare bravery. The Education Department also announced a reward of Rs.25,000 for Gunjan and Rs.10,000 for the driver Shri Umananda Saikia.

The Government of Assam has decided to institute a Bravery Award for Children, which will be the first time to initiate in the state of Assam and Gunjan will be the first recipient of this honour. This state level Bravery Award for Children will be of cash award of Rs.2 lakh and a citation. Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Education Minister, Assam asked the Dy. Commissioner of Sivasagar district, Shri S. S. Meenakshi Sundaram to nominate Gunjan for National Bravery Awards and the sources state that Gunjan will be nominated for the National Bravery Awards next year.

The girl of rare bravery and idealism, Gunjan stated that award is not a big matter to her, but it is the main strength of thinking big that she could save the lives of all other children .

Gunjan is the symbol of humanity and brave. If the kidnapper is identified and caught, what kind of punishment he should be given? - asked by the media personnel and Gunjan replied that she wants the kidnapper set free and allow him to live a common life so that he can purge misdeed and learn the good things of life and society with purity in mind.
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