Where’s the next stop? Child welfare panel in dilemma over Ramzan’s fate

  • Shruti Tomar, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Apr 28, 2016 15:48 IST
Ramzan ran away from West Bengal shelter home on April 11 and reached Bhopal a week ago. (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT file photo)

Where to go? Pakistan, Bangladesh or continue staying in India? Neither the Pakistani boy Ramzan nor does the child welfare committee (CWC) knows it.

Fifteen-year-old Ramzan, who had crossed into India from Bangladesh after being harassed by his stepmother and neglected by his father, doesn’t want to leave Umeed, a shelter home in Bhopal, where he has been staying for the last two years.

After repeated attempts to send him to his mother in Pakistan failed, the CWC with the help of an NGO decided to send him back to Bangladesh. On April 6, Ramzan left for Kolkata from where he was sent to a shelter home of 24 Pargana.

Sources said Ramzan ran away from the shelter home on April 11 with a group of four inmates and reached Bhopal a week ago.

“If you can’t send me to Pakistan, don’t send me anywhere”

“If you can’t send me to my motherland in Karachi, Pakistan, don’t send me anywhere,” he said.

After returning from West Bengal, Ramzan told the CWC that he was not comfortable at the South 24 Pargana shelter home named Hasus.

Before leaving for Kolkata, Ramzan had told HT he didn’t want to see his father as his father Mohammad Kajol was responsible for his destitute life.

After holding discussion for three hours, women empowerment officer, CWC members and Aarambh director couldn’t come to any conclusion.

CWC member Rekha Shridhar said things are getting complicated as Ramzan is also not clear about his future.

“Earlier, he was ready to go to Bangladesh. But now, he doesn’t want to go anywhere. We can’t take any emotional decision. If he wants to stay here in Bhopal, what would be his future after five years because he can’t be provided shelter after 21 years.”

Nationality of Ramzan a big question before the CWC

The nationality of Ramzan is a big question before the CWC. If the Indian government will agree to provide nationality to him, this can resolve the issue, the CWC members feel.

And if the matter of his repatriation to Pakistan takes up again, Ramzan’s life will be easy, said Shridhar.

The CWC member said Ramzan had to go to Kolkata as the FIR was registered in 24 Pargana and police would take him back after the Assembly election in West Bengal gets over.

The committee will also discuss with the Bhopal collector, who had issued the letter about sending Ramzan to Kolkata.

Burney to take up the issue

Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney told HT that he would take up the issue and ask the Pakistan government to issue the nationality card for Ramzan.

“If in the seven days government doesn’t take concrete action in this regard, I will move the court,” Burney said.

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