Kidnapped to Bangladesh six years ago, 12-year-old reunited with parents
Updated: Jul 01, 2016, 11:11 IST
NEW DELHI: A 12-year-old boy who was kidnapped six years ago from outside his house in east Delhi and sent to Bangladesh was reunited with his parents on Thursday.
Sonu was found in a child rehabilitation centre in Jessore in Bangladesh. Local authorities handed him over to the Indian High Commission in Dhaka three days ago, following a court order.
“It was Eid for us today… Many people told me I should let go of hopes and that maybe Sonu was dead already. But I knew my son is alive somewhere and I will see him someday,” said his mother Mumtaz.
The news about Sonu reached his parents Mumtaz and Mehboob last month. Bangladesh native Jamal Musa visited Sonu’s parents at their one-room set in east Delhi’s New Seemapuri.
“Jamal bhai… showed us Sonu’s picture and we immediately recognised him. He told us that he was the neighbour in a house in Jessore where Sonu was working as a domestic help all these years. We were told that he was treated badly and often beaten up and tortured by the people there,” Mehboob said.
It took a month to complete all the formalities and get him home.
“Sonu was kidnapped from Delhi and was found in a shelter home in Bangladesh. We matched the DNA with his mother. The test is positive. Indian High Commission in Dhaka has obtained Sonu’s custody. He will reach Delhi on 30th June,” external affairs miniter Sushma Swaraj had tweeted.
At 12.30 pm on Thursday, Sonu was brought to the Indira Gandhi International Airport where his parents and senior officials of the external affairs ministry greeted him. Soon after, Sonu and his parents met Swaraj and thanked her for ensuring his return.
“From Geeta to Gurpreet, and now to Sonu! EAM @ SushmaSwaraj welcomes the young boy Sonu home from Bangladesh,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted along with a photograph of Swaraj welcoming Sonu.
The other names mentioned in the tweet are of Indians brought back from different countries in a similar fashion.
When the family arrived at their house, excited neighbours flocked the narrow street, to catch a glimpse of the boy. Some had seen him when he was little, while others had only heard of him.
A poster with ‘Welcome home, Sonu’ was stuck at the door.
“I don’t remember what he looked like when I last saw him. He had called abbu before he boarded the plane. He told me he was taking the plane to come and see us,” said Sonu’s older brother Nanto (14). Sonu is the second of four siblings.
Nanto was struggling to get past the crowd with a bottle of Iodex, to reach his brother who had apparently complained of a headache. “We have not been able to talk to him after he reached home. He has been surrounded by people. I wish people would leave him alone now. He is not feeling well,” he said.