The dream of making it big in Bollywood and the lure of Shahrukh Khan have landed Naseer in Faridkot juvenile home in Punjab.
For, Naseer Sultan from Chukiatan, a town in the northwestern Dir Upper district in Pakistan, didn’t know that borders cannot be crossed at will, especially by a 15-year-old Hindi movie buff.
He was arrested by the Border Security Force on August 16, and later, Ferozepur police registered a case against him under the Passport Act, 1920. His family is at a loss. His father Sultan Zareen, a petrol pump employee in the remote Chitral district, doesn’t know how to get the dreamer back home.
Although, Naseer could not be contacted due to legal hurdles, sources revealed that the charm of the silver screen and the brave stunts of Indian heroes drew him to India.
He thought he just had to reach Mumbai to become another Shahrukh Khan.
In his statement before the police, he, however, said he had crossed the border by mistake.
But his father’s version is a bit different. Knowing that his father would not allow him to go to Mumbai, on August 16 morning, the Xth-grade student left home for school, dressed in his school uniform. The destination was Mumbai, India.
Meanwhile, agency reports quoted Sultan Zareen saying the boy called up home on August 18, saying he had crossed into India. It was shocking for the family, he said. But the shock was more when he informed just after 15 minutes that the Indian police had arrested him.
Sultan said, “I don’t know what to do to secure his release as he is in another country where I have no influence or resources.” He said Naseer’s mother “looks at his picture and cries. Now, we have hidden all his pictures.”
Sultan has appealed to the Indian government to release his innocent son on humanitarian grounds, as he had no idea of border formalities.
He has also approached national and international NGOs to help him bring back his son.
Another Pakistani boy, 17-year-old Sunil, has been languishing in Faridkot Juvenile Home for crossing the border with two other adult Pakistanis in May.
Sunil also reportedly has a craze for a career in Bollywood, which landed him in an Indian jail. However, children straying into India by mistake usually spend months in jails before being allowed to return to their families.