There is an air of grief at a residence in Sector 39. Shalini Sharma hasn’t slept a wink ever since her son, Dev (15), went missing on January 22. Dev’s parents had filed a missing person report in Sector 39 police station a week ago but the cops are yet to make any headway in the case.
A Class X student of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 41, Dev had told his mother that he was going for a walk on the evening of January 22. That was the last time his family saw him. Seven days after, they feel he may have been lured by someone.
Dev Sharma’s father, Deepak Sharma, an employee in the UT secretariat, and mother, Shalini, a teacher, dismissed reports in some papers that said Dev had left home in fear of facing his family after failing school examinations.
“There is no truth in that claim. The results have not yet been declared. We were waiting for the results when Dev left. That day, we had lunch together and he was his usual happy self. Then he went for tuition at 4 pm and after returning around 6:30 pm, he left home saying that he was going for a walk, which was his daily routine,” Shalini recounted.
Her eyes welled up as she said, “I did not even see him off as I was busy making soup in the kitchen. He just said ‘I am going for a walk’ and left” “His voice keeps echoing in my head,” said the grief-stricken mother.
Dev turned 15-year-old on December 30. “He is very close to me and we often go for shopping together, along with his younger sister,”says Shalini. The family believes Dev is not alone. “He is a very emotional boy, very sincere and responsible. He cannot survive for so many days on his own. We believe someone has lured him into leaving home.”
Meanwhile, the family looked for Dev at every gurdwara and temple in the city. They even went to Amritsar but could not find him. “Every time our door bell rings, I feel it is Dev and I run to open the door but I return disappointed,”Shalini cries.
Dev’s disappearance has also unsettled the neighbourhood. “Dev is an obedient and well-mannered child,” said Archana Sharma, a neighbour who has been living next-door for six years. Archana told Chandigarh Newsline that Dev and her son study in the same class. “In the neighbourhood, everyone lovingly refers to Dev as ‘Dabbu,’”
Maninder Singh, SHO of Sector 39 police station, said they were trying their best to trace the missing boy.