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Bhopal City
Return gift: India to send runaway boy Ramzan to Pakistan

Bhopal: India has decided to send Karachi’s runaway boy, Mohammad Ramzan, as a ‘return gift’ to Pakistan for returning Geeta nearly 15 years after she accidentally crossed over to their territory. Geeta landed at Delhi airport on Monday.

Ramzan, the 15-year-old Karachi boy, was separated from his mother at the age of 10 when his father Mohammad took him to Bangladesh and remarried. After being tortured by his stepmother, the boy crossed the border alone in 2011 with the hope of coming back to his mother in Pakistan.

Ramzan had 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 remained there since then.

Archana Sahay, director of Childline Bhopal chapter, tried helping the boy but to no avail.

The ministry of external affairs (MEA) had 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.

“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?” Sahay had asked.

In September this year, a CA student from Bhopal traced the boy’s family in Karachi by sharing pictures via social media.

Ramzan’s mother, Razia Begum, after learning that her son is in India, contacted Pakistan human rights activist 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. Burney had mailed a copy of the passports of Ramzan’s grandparents to the Indian embassy and Childline for help. But all efforts to send him home had failed.

However, after all these developments, to reciprocate the goodwill gesture of Pakistan, the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) has reopened the case file of Ramzan. The PMO also called up the authorities of Bhopal chapter of Childline on Monday to inform this.

“I am very happy to hear that PMO has started taking interest in his case. We want to send him home at the earliest,” said Sahay.