Kupwara: A minor boy from Lolab area in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district who had gone missing four years ago from Baramulla was reunited with his family on Friday with the assistance of Child Welfare Committee Kupwara and Police.
Scores of people from adjacent areas of Butnad, Lolab had assembled to receive the 14-year-old Manzoor Ahmad Khatana, who after stepping in the courtyard of his house, kept looking for his father not knowing that he had passed away while searching for him.
“Manzoor used to do domestic chores for a family in Sangri Parray Mohalla area of Baramulla where he came in contact with a balloon-seller family of Rajasthan. The family lured him and promised him to pay Rs 7000 per month,” Chairperson Child Welfare Committee Kupwara, Azad Naqashbandi told Greater Kashmir.
“They took Manzoor with them to Rajasthan where he was asked to not reveal his Muslim and Kashmiri identity to anyone for his own security. He was given the name of Rajesh Sinha,” he said.
He said that Manzoor used to demand remuneration from the balloon-seller family but to no avail. “After a few months, Manzoor knew that he was deceived,” Naqashbandi said. “Manzoor could do nothing about the forced labour till he moved with the family to Kolkatta where he had a row with the family following which he was thrown out.”
He said that Manzoor wandered in the streets of Kolkatta for several days till the Railway Police noticed him and took him in custody and asked about his whereabouts.
“He told them that he used to live with a balloon-seller family in the Dosa area of Rajasthan following which he was handed over to Child Welfare Committee Dosa,” Naqashbandi said.
He said that after a few days of counseling at the Child Welfare Committee Dosa, Manzoor informed them that he hailed from the Lolab area in Kashmir following which CWC Dosa contacted the Child Welfare Committee Kupwara.
“After several months we could trace out the actual residence of Manzoor in Butnad area of Lolab,” Naqashbandi said.
At home, Manzoor’s mother, Zuliakha is overwhelmed finding her son after the death of her husband Bhagoo Khan had shattered her.
“My husband left us with this unfulfilled wish of meeting his son. Had he been here, he would have been the happiest person,” she said. “After his death, I am finding it hard to make ends meet but after the recovery of my son, I am content with whatever I have.”