Srinagar: Dashing all hopes of Mehran’s parents, the central bureau of investigation (CBI) has submitted a closure report before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar, stating that it could not trace the boy who went missing in 2008.
The CBI, India’s premier investigation agency, had taken up the investigation on 6 February 2014 on the directions by the J&K high court after police failed to find Mehran, who was three years old when he went missing on 13 May 2008.
More than two years later, the CBI submitted a closure report before the CJM, Masrat Shaheen, who accepted it after recording statement of Mehran’s mother Rukhsana and father Lateer Ahmad Mir.
“They are convinced with the investigation which has been conducted by the CBI,” the CJM said in the order.
“As not only the Court, the complainants (parents) were convinced with the investigation of the case, hence the closure report by the CBI is accepted and case is closed,” the CJM said.
However, the court said that the CBI was at liberty to reopen the case at any point of time in case any information leading to trace the boy was received by them in future.
The CBI has stated that it looked into all possibilities, presuming that the child was alive and being used by anti-social elements for begging or may be in any orphange or may have been kidnapped for adoption purposes.
Following these possibilities, the CBI requested National Crime Record Bureau for developing the photograph of Mehran in ascending order because he would have been about 10 years in 2014. However, the NCRB expressed helplessness to prepare and later the CBI requested a private artist –Rajnesh Sehgal to develop the photographs but to no avail.
13 May 2008: 3-year-old Mehran goes missing
15 May 2008: FIR filed at Kral Khud police station
05 Nov 2013: Crime Branch, who took over investigation from police, filed closure report as untraced
13 Nov 2013: HC hands over case to CBI, says boy wouldn’t have vanished in thin air
06 Feb 2014: CBI starts investigation
March 2016: India’s premier investigation agency says couldn’t trace the boy
Subsequently, the CBI in its report says that it announced Rs 2 lakh reward and about 1,000 Beggar Homes, Orphanages, Shelter Homes, Charitable Homes, etc, were scoured to find him. Subsequently, it says, information was received from one ‘Ashram’ in Gurgaon that a boy namely Emmanuel alias Manoj having physical appearance resembling Mehran was in the custody of a Charity—Jeewan Jyoti.
The CBI requested Mehran’s parents to visit the charitable home and identify if the boy was Mehran.
Mehran’s father Lateef Ahmad along with relatives visited the charitable home on April 16 and even DNA test was advised for determination of paternity of the child.
However, the father stated that Mehran had been circumcised while the child who was shown to him was not. He also pointed out that the child’s hair was different from that of Mehran.
The high court had handed over the case to CBI after it was informed that a closure report has submitted in the court of Special Mobile Magistrate Passenger Tax & Shops Act by Crime Branch of Police and it declared the case as “untraceable”.
The high court had observed that boy would not have vanished into thin air even as it pulled up the crime branch for its failure to trace the boy.
In its status report, the Crime Branch had said that after filing a formal case (FIR 19/2008 under section 363 of RPC) on May 15 2008, wireless messages were flashed to all the police stations followed by hue and cry notice for maintaining a lookout.
The CB said that a wide publicity was given in print and electronic media apart from posters containing photograph of the boy were pasted at public and religious places but to no avail.
Mehran, then a nursery student of Canny Mission School at Court Road had just arrived from school at 2:30 PM on fateful day.
After taking lunch, he fervently insisted his mother on candies from a shop just outside their residence in congested Habba Kadal locality of Srinagar. The mother gave him Rs five to buy the candies. He went outside but never returned.