The High Court on Wednesday rapped the state police for failing to trace five-year-old Sujal Chhug despite assurances from the Director General of Police S.S. Virk that he was personally looking into the matter.
“These (cases of missing persons) are very special matters to us... It is a question of credibility of the entire system,” said Justice Nazki. “Sometimes we are ashamed of ourselves,” Nazki said.
The court also expressed apprehension about more than 16,000 missing children in the state. “Many of these are girls. You and we know where they could land,” said Nazki. “Tomorrow it may happen to our child or to your child. We are not only concerned about this child, but also for our children.”
Sujal’s mother, Priti, had alleged that her son was kidnapped by her estranged husband Bunty (28).
Hindustan Times, through a series of reports in June, had highlighted cases of missing children who were untraceable mainly due to the lax attitude of the police.
Virk apologised to the judges and asked the court to give the police 15 days to trace the boy.
“I deeply apologise,” said Virk. “Give us 15 more days and we will apprise you (court). We are facing certain practical difficulties. I am also bothered about the child.”
Virk told the court that the special task force, which was formed to trace the child under a deputy commissioner of police, had arrested two people on Tuesday who were instrumental in providing fake passports to Bunty and the child.
The father and child have been traced to Nepal and would be brought back soon, said Virk.
He also said they have moved the lower court for cancellation of bail of Bunty’s father, Shankarlal, who allegedly helped his son flee the country.