SRINAGAR: A 14-year-old Bangladeshi boy who was smuggled into Kashmir has been, for the past nearly one year, awaiting a real-life Salman Khan to take him home.
Humayun, who hails from Sholagarh in Bangladesh, had illegally crossed Indo-Bangladesh border to escape the crushing poverty at home.
“We were three boys and our guide who lured us to India had promised us jobs,” Humayun said, sobbing.
The ‘guide’ handed them over to another person who brought them to the Valley just before the biggest flood of the last century wrought widespread devastation.
Humayun has no idea of what happened to the other two boys. Probably, the ‘guide’ and the other man had exchanged money for transporting the boys.
Fortunately, the boy was spotted by a benevolent scrap dealer who informed the police.
The Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) of the police has registered a case of trafficking in February this year against the man who brought Humayun here. The boy calls him tau, uncle.
Lodged at the Juvenile Home near Harwan garden since March and enjoying a relatively greater freedom than other juveniles, mostly petty criminals and stone throwers, Humayun longs for return home.
“I want to see my brother and sister for whom I had come to work in India,” he said.
Station house officer of the AHTU Farooq Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that this is an unusual case that they have come across so far.
Farooq said the police are investigating where Humayun worked and whether he was sold to an employer.
He added that workers from India are being hired as domestic helps through several agencies in Kashmir, which are registered both with labor department and the police. But, he said, there is no background data on people who are luring Bangladeshi workers into the Valley.
An official of the Social Welfare Department, which runs the Juvenile Home, said there is little headway in Humayun’s repatriation to Bangladesh.
“The government is unmoved but NGOs, human rights groups and Bar Association have not come forward to help him either,” he said.
To make a case for his speedy repatriation, the official pointed to several instances in which minors from Pakistan or Pakistan Administered Kashmir, who had crossed the Line of Control inadvertently, were sent back.
A police official said that Humayun’s case has been forwarded to “relevant quarters” in New Delhi and “they have to take up the matter with Bangladeshi authorities”.