Indu Jha’s (33) son is back home, but the painful memory of his 15-month disappearance brings tears to her eyes.
Amit (14), who went missing from his home at Sathenagar in Waghle Estate, Thane (West) on December 3, 2007, is in shock and speaks only in monosyllables.
He has reportedly told his parents that he was kidnapped and taken to Bihar and made to work in a dhaba. He was found at Gorakhpur railway station in Uttar Pradesh.
“Those were the most difficult days of our life,” said Indu. “We did whatever we could but there was no information about his whereabouts.”
Amit had left home around 9 am, saying he was going out to play. Somehow, he reached Thane railway station, from where he was allegedly taken to Chhapra village in Bihar by an unknown person.
Hindustan Times had carried a special series on missing children last month, looking closely at the police’s failure in tracing them.
“Amit told us that the man gave him a biscuit after which he fell unconscious. The next day he found himself at a dhaba in Chhapra,” said Amit’s father Varun (37). “He also said that he was beaten up by the dhaba owner whenever he broke a glass.”
Varun, who has a transport business, wrote applications to the police commissioner, collector, women and child welfare department — and even went to tantriks — to find his son.
Then on April 19, he got a call from a woman, Rama Thapa, who works in a social organisation Saathi Sanstha. “Thapa said she had found Amit in an unconscious state at Gorakhpur railway platform a few days back.”
Amit said he ran away from the dhaba at night.
“Amit can neither identify the person who took him to Bihar nor does he recollect the dhaba’s name,” said Police Sub-inspector PT Kadam. “If his father files a fresh complaint, we will definitely look into the matter.”