The 21-year-old Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan who went missing from Jammu three weeks ago was found in a forest near his home district in Manipur on Monday morning by two persons, who then brought him home.
According to his family, the jawan, Jim Reeves Hrilrothang, is critical and not in a state to talk.
Hrilrothang, who hails from Churachandpur district in Manipur, went missing last month while he was on his way to Srinagar from his hometown to join 183 battalion after completing his training.
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According to his family, he was robbed of his belongings — including his joining papers, identity proof, ATM cards, money and luggage — at New Delhi Railway station last month. He had last contacted his father on July 27 upon reaching Jammu, after which, neither his family nor his battalion had any clue as to his whereabouts.
Speaking to Newsline over the phone from Manipur, Hrilrothang’s father Dolienmawi said they saw the jawan walking towards their house around 10 am on Monday.
“Two persons from the neighbouring village, Muolvaithei, had read news reports about a CRPF jawan going missing and spotted my son in the jungle. They brought him home. When I saw him, I could not recognise him. He was wearing a dirty pant and shirt. He had grown so thin. I identified him from a tattoo on his arm. We tried to ask him where he was for the last 22 days but he did not say anything. He is not talking; not reacting. He did not cry or laugh when he reached home,” the father said.
Hrilrothang’s uncle, Sang, however, said when the soldier entered his room, he broke down crying after which he fell asleep. “A local doctor administered glucose to him. He has been resting since morning,” Sang said.
According to Hrilrothang’s father, from whatever little the jawan spoke, it seems he did manage to reach his battalion from Jammu but was turned away as he did not have the necessary documents.
“His joining papers for the CRPF were also in the luggage that was stolen at New Delhi Railway station. He had just Rs 1,000 then. Of that, he used Rs 450 to reach Delhi. From there, he took a train to Guwahati and then, another train to Dimapur. How he reached Manipur from there is a mystery. He has become extremely thin; his eyes are sunken and it seems he has not eaten for many days,” the father said.
The family is now trying to fax copies of Hrilrothang’s documents and identity proofs to his battalion in Srinagar.
“What exactly happened in these three weeks will only be clear after my son regains his senses. Right now, everything is sketchy… and we cannot make out the entire story,” Dolienmawi said.
Hrilrothang belongs to Hmar tribe in Manipur and can speak “manageable English”.