Sounds like a script of a Bollywood masala film. Only, it’s a true story that happened in Hyderabad.
A 10-year-old Kannadiga boy who was missing for 12 years was traced to a dairy farm in Ameen Colony of Saidabad last night, where he was held a bonded labourer. To the boy, now 22, and his family, independence from colonial rule got translated into personal freedom.
Saidabad police sub-inspector S Shekhar related the incredible story to Postnoon. Ten years ago, the family of Madar Patel from Karnataka had come to visit relatives in Chanchalguda. Their son, Mohd Rafiq, was playing outside but went missing. The Patel family lodged a complaint with the police and checked with friends and relatives in Karnataka, AP, Mumbai and other places, but to no avail.
Years passed and the family believed their son would never be traced. Then, a few days ago, a relative from Hyderabad called up Patel and said he seemed to have spotted a youth who bore resemblance to Rafiq, when he went to fetch milk from a farm. Other relatives also had a glimpse of the youth and decided it could be the missing boy.
Accordingly, Rafiq’s parents came to Hyderabad two days ago with childhood photographs and birth documents. With the help of the Saidabad police, they went to the farm and confronted the owners, Sudhakar Yadav and his brothers. They denied that the boy was kidnapped. He is not Rafiq, but Raghu, they claimed. But the parents showed them the photos, birth certificates and asked Rafiq to recall his days with his parents. The youth seemed slightly disoriented. Later, it was found that he was made an alcoholic by force-feeding him liquor.
The youth said he was being confined to a room and was made to work on the farm under duress. “I tried to escape three times, and was caught. After every attempt, they tightened security and I was not permitted to go out. Every night, I was to drink liquor and later, it became a habit,” he said. His body bore marks of injuries and he revealed that he was being beaten up regularly to make him obey.
Saidabad police inspector S Srinivas, along with the local corporator, interrogated the farm owners and the youth was reunited with the family today. The police took the Yadav brothers into custody and shifted the youth to hospital for treatment.
About the Author (Author Profile)
I have been working as a crime reporter in Hyderabad for the past 17 years. I was encouraged to be a journalist by my late father. As a journalist I try to do something unique for society, especially the poor who suffer the most.