A Pakistani activist who has facilitated a deaf-and-mute girl’s possible reunification with her Indian parents has now stepped in to help a teenager stranded in Bhopal to meet his mother in the neighbouring country.
Activist Ansar Burney, a former Pakistan human rights minister, said on Thursday that he has started a campaign to reunite 15-year-old Mohd Ramzan with his mother, a resident of Karachi.
Ramzan is living in a half-way shelter in Bhopal where he was caught two years ago while on his way to Pakistan from Bangladesh after escaping from his abusive step-mother and father.
Ramzan’s father had moved to Bangladesh and re-married a couple of years ago.
The fresh hopes for Ramzan emerged on a day the external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said that the 24-year-old Indian girl Geeta, who has been struck in Pakistan for 14 years, would soon be reunited with her parents in Bihar. Burney had launched a campaign to help Geeta.
“I have started a campaign to reunite Ramzan with his mother in Pakistan. I have collected some documents which will definitely help authorities of both the countries to initiate the process,” Burney told HT over phone.
Sources said the Madhya Pradesh home department has failed to verify the details related to the boy and establish his identity even after two years.
At the same time, Pakistan’s social welfare department too has been unable to start the process for taking Ramzan back as his mother Razia Begum doesn’t have his identity proof.
Burney said he has also sent a video of Ramzan’s mother from Pakistan to Childline Bhopal chapter director Archna Sahay seeking their help for repatriation. He has sent the video clipping to Hindustan Times also.
In the video, Ramzan’s mother has made an appeal to the Indian government to help her get her son back to Pakistan. The mother also thanked the shelter home Ummeed for taking care of her son.
In response, Childline director Archna Sahay has also sent a video clipping to Burney, in which Ramzan has made an appeal to Pakistan government to help him meet his mother and live with her.
Meanwhile, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) has reportedly turned down an application sent by Sahay on the ground that verification of the boy’s credentials was yet to be done.
“I have informed all the authorities but no one seems to have taken any serious steps to reunite the boy with his mother. I have sent an application to MEA but they need documents of verification of the boy which was done by Intelligence wing of the state police. I have informed the police about it in February but nothing has moved forward so far,” she said.
Madhya Pradesh home department secretary DP Gupta he said he was clueless about the entire issue and that he did not have any information of Ramzan. “The department doesn’t do field work. The intelligence wing at police headquarters could be able to answer on the issue.”
When contacted, deputy inspector general of police (intelligence) Makrand Deouskar said, “Verifying credentials of the boy and establishing his identity so that he could be deported to his country is a duty of local police.”