After being away for eight years, Kashif has much to learn about his origin.
The 12-year-old boy landed up at a local TV channel with the intervention of the police on Monday and said he does not know anything about his family or home. All he remembers is that the last time he saw his parents was at a pilgrimage at the Data Sahib shrine in Lahore, some eight years back.
He said that while he was searching for his parents, a man Mangoo alias Shehbaz took him to his house, where he kept him for some time. Later, he took him to the Bhimbher city of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, where he kept him as a house servant. Kashif said that his keeper would often subject him to violence.
“Few days ago, I heard him talking to somebody on the telephone about selling me off,” Kashif said, adding that he fled the house and reached the Bhimbher police station, from where a local journalist, Nasir Bhutt, took him to the office of a Mirpur-based national TV channel. Kashif said that he wanted to meet his parents, whom he missed. “I want to study and not work at anyone’s house,” he said.
Meanwhile, the police are searching for Mangoo. “We have raided the residence of Shahbaz alias Mangoo in Gurha Lillyan village of Bhimbher district where the child was allegedly kept in unlawful confinement. But the said man had escaped,” Bhimbher
Station House Officer Inspector Muhammad Naseer told The Express Tribune over telephone.
Kashif is presently staying with Butt, who is also the former president of Bhimbher Press Club. He, along the police and media, is searching for the boy’s parents.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2012.
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