The Chhapra mid-day meal tragedy that claimed the lives of 23 children has brought a ray of hope for city-based Vinod Kumar, who has been struggling to locate his abducted son for the past five years.
A hosiery worker, Kumar, claimed that he was checking reports regarding the tragedy on news websites and saw images of children admitted in hospitals, and identified his son, Vineet Kumar, who was kidnapped on February 27, 2008, among the victims.
Kumar said, “The boy resembles my son. I am sure he is Vineet. I contacted the news website, who suggested me to contact Chhapra administration. I am trying hard to contact the appropriate person in Chhapra to locate my son.”
The agonised father said, “I was hopeful that one day I will get my son back, and for that I have done everything I could, including knocking the doors of Punjab and Haryana high court and contacting the police repeatedly. However, they have not put any efforts to recover my son. Though I have not seen Vineet for the past five years, I am sure the child is my son and he will recognise me.”
In his complaint to police, Kumar had alleged that his elder brother, Anant Ram of Bahadurpur village of Haridwar, had kidnapped his seven-year-old son on February 27, 2008. The accused had allegedly demanded Rs. 2 lakh as ransom money to release the boy.
Kumar alleged that he had immediately informed the police, but they did not take the matter seriously and registered a case two days after the incident.
“Even after registering the case, the police have been dilly-dallying the investigation, and have done nothing to trace my son,” he alleged.