Mysterious old man’s role brings Mehran disappearance to spotlight again
Clueless police still lazy in probe, say people
Srinagar, Sep 18: The mysterious disappearance of 3-year old Mehran Latief Mir who went missing in May 2008 is again in spotlight as an old man suspected of having kidnapped the kid is under scanner though police says the accused is insane.
Although the suspect was nabbed by police and investigations restarted after over four years of the incident, the accused was released again within days while the kid’s family smells a rat.
Earlier this year, a mutton seller from Rainawari area of Shaher-e-Khaas claimed before his counterpart, Mehran’s father, Muhammad Latief that he has seen the boy with an old man last year.
The revelation came in a surprising way. Latief is believed to have had altercation with his business counterpart over some issue. But as the two locked horns, others intervened only to apprize the other mutton seller that Mehran’s father was suffering from trauma of having lost his son in mysterious circumstances when on the fateful May 5, the child left his Habba Kadal home to buy candies from a nearby shop but never returned.
The Rainawari man felt sorry and inquired about the four-year old incident. The moment he was shown the photograph of Mehran, he instantly claimed to have seen him some eight months back –accompanied by a “strange old man”.
THE RAINAWARI ANECDOTE
The Rainawari mutton seller told Mehran’s father that the old man had visited his shop to buy mutton. “At first I took him as a Dervish accompanied by a cute little boy of around six years of age and even offered discount. But I was shocked the moment old man came forward to make payments. His breath smelled alcoholic. This made their appearance get frozen in my memory,” the Rainawari man, as per Mehran's uncle Rouf Ahmad told Latief.
However the joy to get back Mehran got an instant setback when mutton seller added that he doesn’t know the whereabouts of the suspect.
The mystery remained a mystery for another eight odd months. Finally some days back the suspect visited the Rainawari mutton shop again. This time the old man again pretending to be Dervish is believed to have asked for Rs 1000 from the mutton seller who skilfully managed getting him trapped before Mehran’s family. Thereafter Nowhatta Police Station in north City is understood to have nabbed the accused.
Sources said SP north City Tahir Salim Khan at once informed a concerned official of the Crime Branch (CB) department about the development and he too rushed to the Thana.
A joint team from Nowhatta Police Station and the CB is believed to have quizzed the suspect and got to know that he was putting up in Ganderbal area.
“On visiting the area we learnt that he was actually from north Kashmir and so met his family as well,” said a cop who was part of the investigations.
Though SP north Tahir Salim Khan admitted that the old man was nabbed by Nowhatta Police, the official said the suspect was found insane.
“Like the family we too were elated to have nabbed him hoping that Mehran could be traced out but he (suspect) turned out to be an insane,” SP north said.
The CB, to which the case was handed over in 2008 after police failure to crack it, is silent as the officials declined to comment on the issue.
Mehran’s family and people from civil society on the other hand accuse the government of having failed to handover the case in time to “some credible investigating agency like CBI.” “Crime Branch has done nothing nor they looked bothered to probe the case,” the Habba Kadal residents said.
Last year the then Director General of Police (DGP) Kuldeep Khoda during a function in the old City had admitted police failure in cracking the case. The DGP had said there were some typical cases where police got zero success adding the Mehran mystery was one such example.
Though the civil society had sought handing over of the case to CBI, successive regimes declined to handover the poor family’s case to the elite investigating agency!
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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