The Thothal police are in a fix over parentage claims of a mentally-challenged boy by two families. The boy, who was recovered by the police four days back from a refugee camp has two families claiming parentage. The case has been further complicated since both the families have provided the police ‘proofs’ of kinship with the child, who appears to be in his early teens.
Thothal police said that initially, Muhammad Rasheed, a resident of Haripur village of Bhimbher district in Azad Kashmir, lodged a report about the missing of his son, Kamran, who he claims is mentally challenged by birth. Soon after, he informed the police that he has been informed that his son is in an Afghan refugee camp in Chandral, Mirpur, and requested that his child be recovered. The police dutifully retrieved the boy, who was living with an Afghan family in the camp at the time.
But the case took a new turn when an Afghan refugee, Noor Khan, from whose custody the child was recovered, claimed he is the real father of the child. He said the child’s name is Khushaal Khan. He said that his son went missing two years back and he could not find him despite tireless efforts. “We spent a lot of money and even consulted palmists to help us locate him, but all in vain,” he said. Noor added that he found his son a few days ago in Nathia Town Bazar, Mirpur, and took him to the camp.
Noor has provided the police pictures of the child when he was younger and pointed out all of his identity marks to prove their claim. Police investigators said that the identity marks are “primarily correct”.
Meanwhile, the original complainant, Rasheed, has also provided the police with the child’s photographs in which the identity marks are also evident.
“If the could speak for himself, there wouldn’t have been any confusion,” said the investigation officer, requesting not to be named. He said that to do away with the confusion, the police have decided to conduct a DNA relationship test to validate paternity claims of both the complainants. He told The Express Tribune that the all required blood samples have been taken and sent to a lab. In the meanwhile, the child is in custody of the police and one member from both the families has been appointed to take care of him.
The investigation officer said that the issue will be resolved in light of the DNA report, adding that if proved that any the family had been deceiving the police, stern action will be taken against them.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2012.
More in Jammu & KashmirFiscal year 2012-13: Over Rs49b AJK budget approved