Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Maharashtra: 2 years on, runaway teen traced to Bihar

A school dropout, the boy, who lived with his family in Bandra East, had run away from home on February 23, 2015. His family registered a missing person’s complaint a month later, after they failed to find him.

Written by Srinath Rao | Mumbai |
March 3, 2017 5:10:19 am

More than two years after he ran away from home to escape beatings allegedly at the hands of his father, a teenage boy was traced to Bihar and rescued Wednesday after he called his mother on her cell phone, only to be informed that his father had passed away. The boy, now 17, was brought back home Thursday.

A school dropout, the boy, who lived with his family in Bandra East, had run away from home on February 23, 2015. His family registered a missing person’s complaint a month later, after they failed to find him.

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The police said the boy first wandered to Kanjurmarg, where he was spotted roaming aimlessly by a hawker, Ranjan Singh (41). “Singh offered the boy a place to live. But when the time came for him to return to his home in Bihar, he thought it would be a good idea to take him along and make him serve his old parents,” said Rajendra Patil, senior inspector, Kherwadi police station.

Over the last two years, the boy was allegedly made to clean the home of Singh’s parents and tend to them when they fell sick.

“After some time, he began to miss his family. Luckily, he remembered his mother’s phone number. A month ago, he tried to dial the number to see if he could speak to her,” said sub-inspector Manohar Sonawane, adding the boy’s mother pleaded with him to return. “After being informed that his father had died, the boy wanted to return but didn’t know where in Bihar he was,” he said.

Once the mother informed the police about the call, they traced it to Paki village in Bihar’s Nalanda district. Sonawane and constables Sanjay Landge and Ravi Gaikwad travelled to the village to locate him. Singh was booked for kidnapping, arrested and brought to Mumbai. “He had a responsibility to inform the police in Bihar about the missing boy instead of taking him away from Mumbai,” Patil said.

Sonawane said the boy said he was constantly scolded by his parents back in 2015 for smoking beedis and was in particular beaten up by his father. “He ran away because he was fed up of the beatings,” Sonawane said.

The boy’s father, who worked as a security guard in Bandra East, passed away soon after, while the mother moved with her daughter to Kalwa. Sonawane said she had found a job of cleaning toilets in a mall in Thane.

“The boy is relieved to be back home,” said Sonawane.

srinath.rao@expressindia.com
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