While the city lights up to celebrate Diwali on Tuesday, darkness prevails in a house in Verka as the family members spend it without their 10-year-old member, who was kidnapped a few days ago.
Gurkirat Singh had gone missing from near his house on November 7. The police had registered a missing person report, but later when he could not be traced, a kidnapping case was filed against unidentified persons.
However, the police have not been able to make headway since then. Sources said some persons had been rounded up, but there has been no concrete information regarding the boy's whereabouts.
The distressed family and residents of the area have got together to demand that Gurkirat be traced soon.
On Sunday, chief parliamentary secretary Navjot Kaur Sidhu had visited the house of Angrej Singh, the boy's father, to express solidarity and put pressure on the police to trace the child.
Residents of the area blocked traffic on Batala Road for nearly two hours. Now extremely concerned, they, as well as the boy's family, have given the police two days to find Gurkirat, else they would launch an agitation. Even a few NGOs and farmers' organisations have stepped in offering support to the family.
On Monday, this reporter visited Gurkirat's house where several people had gathered. A visibly distressed Angrej Singh said: "My son was playing near the house when he disappeared. From Day One we were certain that somebody had kidnapped him. I don't know the motive of the kidnappers; we haven't received any ransom or threat call."
"People are coming to support us," he said. "We just want the police to step up their efforts to get my son back. Without him, ours is a black Diwali."
"We have already deputed teams at key points," Amritsar police commissioner Ram Singh said. "But from whatever clues we have, there is no kidnapping angle in this case; the child has gone missing. We are still keeping close vigil and making efforts to find the boy."