DECEMBER 4: “I decided to save their lives”

crime patrol dastak blog gunjan sharma rajni pathak assamON THIS DATE in 2012, fourteen-year-old Gunjan Sharma pleaded with a gunman who had abducted her and 10 younger children to let the others go.

The kidnapper, who snatched the hostages near the Assam-Nagaland border in northeast India, did as Sharma requested, keeping her as his only hostage. “The children were crying and I decided to save their lives,” Sharma said.

At one point, the the gunman stuffed a pistol in Sharma’s mouth to keep her quiet while police and other security personnel called her name during a search inside the jungle along the Assam-Nagaland border. The kidnapper left the jungle, telling her he would return. She spent the night without food.

Sharma, who escaped to safety the next morning, said she felt no fear during the ordeal. “I don’t know why but I was not afraid of him,” she said. “Fear struck me only when I returned home yesterday morning, when I realized that he could have killed me.”

A Gunjan Sharma State Bravery Award was instituted in her name by the Assam government.

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