Pak high commission steps up for Karachi boy stranded in Bhopal
runaway boy, Mohammad Ramzan, who has remained stranded in Bhopal for the past
two years, saw a ray of hope when he recently received a call from the high
commission of Pakistan.
A counsellor from the
high commission called the Childline authorities in Bhopal and inquired him,
and assured them that they would try their best to send him back to his mother,
commission official in New Delhi Ilyas Mehmood Nizami said, “We have contacted
the authorities in Pakistan to ascertain his national status. Once that is
done, we would decide."
The ministry of
external affairs (MEA) has already given up on Ramzan’s case. In an official
communication with Childline, MEA has said that his is a "closed
file" with no documentary evidence to prove his Pakistani citizenship.
Pakistani boy had moved to Bangladesh along with his father and later sneaked
into India alone in 2011.
He travelled to many
states before landing in Bhopal. He was spotted at the Bhopal railway station
by the government railway police (GRP) on September 22, 2013, and shifted to a
shelter home run by Childline. Ramzan has remained there since then.
In September 2015, a CA
student from Bhopal traced the boy's family in Karachi by sharing pictures via
social media. But all efforts to send him home has failed.
"MEA has given us
in writing that nothing can be done in this case. They say the case is closed.
What are we supposed to do now?" asked Archana Sahay, director of Bhopal
chapter of Childline.
"After a video
chat with his mother in Karachi, Ramzan has become restless now," she
Ramzan says, "Send
me to Pakistan in the same aeroplane in which Geeta, (the deaf-mute Indian
woman living in Pakistan after accidentally crossing the border over a decade
ago) is being sent to India from Pakistan."
Geeta will return to
her country on October 26, with five members of Edhi Foundation.
human rights activist, Ansar Burney, has stepped up efforts to get the boy
back. He mailed a copy of the passports of Ramzan's grandparents to the Indian
embassy and Childline.
Ramzan was separated
from his mother at age of 10 when his father Mohammad took him to Bangladesh
and remarried. After being tortured by his stepmother, the boy crossed the
border to India with the hope of coming back to his mother in Pakistan. He
landed at the shelter home in Bhopal, where he is anxiously waiting to return
to his mother who is in Pakistan.
Ramzan's mother, Razia
Begum, after learning that her son is in India, contacted Ansar Burney with a
request for his release and return. She also uploaded a video appealing to the
Indian government to send her son home. (With inputs from agencies)