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When Vajpayee’s ‘Kahan hai mera Kislay’ remark shook Bihar govt and saved kidnapped boy

Kislay was 14 years old when he was kidnapped in Patna on January 19, 2005. The incident sparked a massive public outcry against the spurt in kidnappings of schoolchildren in the state, where the law and order situation was at its worse under the RJD government.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2018 16:00 IST
Hindustan Times, Patna
Atal Bihari Vajpayee,Kislay,Bihar
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s question at a public rally jolted the administration out of slumber, and soon Kislay was found.(PTI/File Photo)

Kislay owes his life to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee after the late leader’s pointed question jolted the then Rashtriya Janata Party-led government in Bihar into action.

Kislay was 14 years old when he was kidnapped in Patel Nagar locality of state capital Patna on January 19, 2005, when on his way to board his school bus. But police were unable to trace him even after a week.

The incident sparked a massive public outcry against the spurt in kidnappings of schoolchildren in the state, where the law and order situation was at its worse under the RJD government.

Vajpayee, who was in the state to campaign for the National Democratic Alliance ahead of the Bihar assembly elections, picked up the issue at a rally. “Kahan hai mera Kislay (Where is my Kislay)?” he questioned the government while addressing a gathering in Bhagalpur on January 27, 2005.

The direct question struck an instant chord not only with the audience in Bhagalpur but also with people of the entire state. It also jolted the Bihar police out of their slumber and prompted them to act and deliver. And soon Vajpayee’s question was answered; Kislay was rescued.

Inspector general (Patna zone) NH Khan, who was the senior superintendent of police of Patna then, said after Vajpayee raised the issue of Kislay’s kidnapping, it became a challenge for the city police and the entire Bihar government to rescue the schoolboy.

“Within ten days of Vajpayee’s remark, Kislay was rescued safely from a village in Samastipur. Later, all the three kidnappers involved in the incident were killed in an encounter with police in Patna,” he said.

Khan said there was a huge outrage against the incident after Vajpayee’s remarks and schoolchildren from different schools even wrote to former president APJ Abdul Kalam to intervene for Kislay’s safe rescue.

“We had to send day-to-day report to the President’s secretariat. Later, after the boy was safely rescued, Patna Police got an appreciation letter from the government of India,” said Khan.

For Kislay, now 27 years old, it was a new lease of life.

“The demise of Vajpayeeji is indeed a big setback for the entire family for the way he connected with all of us. We consider it (his famous remarks) a divine intervention,” Kislay’s father KK Gupta, additional commissioner (commercial taxes), said.

Kislay went to study in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur.

“At present, he is doing his management studies from the University of Virginia, US. But all this was possible only because he was back safely,” said Gupta.

First Published: Aug 18, 2018 03:23 IST