Almost two months after their 15-year-old boy went missing, his parents still wonder if they — and police — could have done things differently. The boy, who hails from Purnia district of Bihar and was staying at Krishna Menon Marg with his uncle, went missing on November 11 last year. After looking for the boy themselves — in Delhi and back home — the parents finally approached police on November 18.
Instead of immediately launching a search for the boy, the in-charge of Khan Market police post allegedly asked them to provide his age verification certificate and “different-sized photos”, wasting time, the family alleged. Seven more days went by as the family ran pillar to post to get an FIR registered. Exasperated, they made a PCR call on November 25 and, within three hours, a case was registered.
The delay in registering an FIR is part of a report submitted by the Station House Officer to the Additional CP (New Delhi district) B K Singh, who has asked for an explanation from the officer concerned.
When contacted, Singh acknowledged that the complainant approached police on November 18, but a case was registered on November 25, hours after the matter came to the notice of senior officers as the SHO was on leave initially. “The SHO has submitted a report regarding the officer’s lapses and I have issued an explanation call to the officer.. Action will be taken only after an inquiry,” he said.
The boy’s uncle, Sunil Chaudhary, who runs a vegetable shop, said, “My nephew came from his village around two-and-a-half months ago to help me at work. He went missing under mysterious circumstances on November 11 and we started looking for him. Initially, we thought he must have gone back to a relative’s place, and we started making calls to check. Between November 11 and 18, I approached some beat personnel, who suggested we should get photos of the boy before approaching police. I called his parents and asked them to send the photos.”
He claimed that he went to Tughlak Road police station on November 18 where the duty officer (DO) introduced him to the sub-inspector, who was the emergency duty in-charge at that time. “He assured me he would register an FIR, but asked me to get the boy’s ID documents for age verification. He also asked me to get different-sized pictures of the boy… So I got 28 new photos developed,” he alleged.
Chaudhary said the SI kept putting off filing an FIR, and on November 25, told him to come to Tughlak Road police station. Once he reached there, he said he will not register a case, Chaudhary alleged.
“I came home and decided to make a PCR call. That’s when the SHO concerned approached me directly and I was able to register an FIR within three hours. After a few days, the SHO approached me again and asked for details of police personnel whom I had been in touch with between November 18 and 25,” he said.