Weeks after Mohammad Shamshad (14), who succumbed to pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) on April 2, was rescued by Shil-Dayghar police from a local workshop of embroidery in Thane, the minor was buried on Tuesday after all attempts to trace his parents failed.
Shamshad’s burial was held Tuesday at Nariyalwadi Cemetery, after two months of unsuccessful search for his parents brought the case to a close for the Women and Child Development (WCD) department’s Ulhasnagar wing. The police, however, will continue its search in Mumbai and Sitamarhi district in Bihar, which is reportedly his native place.
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“He was rescued on March 19 and admitted at Ulhasnagar’s Children’s Home. But he was very thin and soon took ill,” said Santosh Khopade, WCD counselor at Ulhasnagar.
Shamshad was admitted at Sewri TB hospital on March 24 after tests confirmed TB infection in his chest. A week later, he succumbed to the infection.
“His employer gave us an address in Bihar. But we found no relative of the boy there,” said Police Sub-Inspector M D Gadade from Shil-Dayghar police station. According to Vikas Mahajan, who works with WCD’s Ulhasnagar office, advertisements in local papers in Bihar were also published after the minor’s death. “Our WCD team in Bihar did a local search in Sitamarhi, but could not locate his parents,” he said.
According to the Shil-Dayghar police, the minor’s employer was arrested under Section 374 of the Indian Penal Code, which relates to unlawful compulsory labour, and under Section 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act, dealing with cruelty and exploitation of juvenile.
Gadade said search would now be narrowed down to Mumbai where his family might reside. “We have distributed his picture to all police stations,” said Gadade. On Monday, the Child Welfare Committee approved the burial of Shamshad, whose body was kept at TB hospital’s morgue since April. The hospital called seven locals from nearby slums to bury the minor’s body. “We have made arrangements for bathing and conducting the final prayers for the boy at Nariyalwadi,” said Abdul Gani, a local who monitored the minor’s burial.