Last week, news broke of an 11-year-old girl who was rescued from a forest in Northern India back in January.
Police in Uttar Padesh, India, stumbled upon the girl living in the forest with a group of monkeys. She could not speak, her behaviour was notably abnormal, and she was scared of humans. Dubbed “Mowgli Girl” (after the protagonist in The Jungle Book) she was naked, often walked on all fours and ate directly from her mouth.
But as the story continues to unfold, it becomes more and more complex.
On Saturday, forestry officers said it would have been impossible for the girl to live in the forest and be raised by monkeys for so long undetected because the area is regularly patrolled.
The theory, then, became that the young girl, who is severely mentally and physically disabled, was abandoned in the forest by her carers.
Now, a man has claimed the 11-year-old (who has now been named Ehasas) is his niece, who went missing over a year ago.
According to The Indian Express, Bhullan Ali said his niece disappeared from her home in Jaunpur’s Kamalpur village in March 2016, and hasn’t been seen since.
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Ehasas is currently being treated for low haemoglobin and other health issues, and the hospital is refusing to hand her over to Ali until he can prove his relation to her.
The President of the non-governmental organisation that runs the hospital is suspicious. He told The Indian Express she “did not respond even a bit on seeing [her uncle],” and said, “if she can start responding to me in just one day, she should react in some manner on seeing her uncle with whom she has lived for eight years.”
“He also did not bring the missing girl’s parents, nor was he carrying any picture of her with family members. We have asked him to come with substantive proof.”
The man has said the hospital will not give Ehasas to any person who says they are a relation “without a DNA test to confirm their claim”.
Meanwhile, a local official told the The Guardian he believes “the family members of this girl had been aware that she is not able to speak, and they may have abandoned her near the forest road.”
“If she was living with monkeys it would have been for a few days only, not for a long time.”
It’s a story that continues to get darker, and it seems we might still be far from the truth.