Boy’s murder: Accused absconds with prime witnesshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/boys-murder-accused-absconds-with-prime-witness/

Boy’s murder: Accused absconds with prime witness

Even as the body of 10-year-old Moin Khan lies in a hospital,another boy — who may be the prime witness in the murder case — continues to be missing.

Even as the body of 10-year-old Moin Khan lies in a hospital,another boy — who may be the prime witness in the murder case — continues to be missing. Khan was allegedly beaten to death by his uncle and employer Kalimullah on Saturday.

According to police,two other boys used to work under Kalimullah. They said while one of them has been lodged at a shelter run by an NGO,the other remains untraceable — probably hidden by the accused to prevent him from providing evidence in the crime. “The child may be a key witness in the case,but he is missing along with Kalimullah,” said Meenu Choudhury, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northwest) .

The rescued child,a seven-year-old,has been lodged at a ashram run by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) near Nathupura. BBA members said though the boy had to be hospitalised soon after being rescued,he is better now.

Speaking to Newsline over the phone,the boy said,“When I reach my village,I will ask my grandmother why she sold me off.” According to BBA workers,he was sold by his grandmother to Kalimullah for Rs 500 when he visited his village in Bihar three years ago. Since then,he had been working in a factory as a child labourer — always running short of food and sleep. “His growth is stunted due to the beatings he received from his employer,” a member of the NGO said.

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Speaking on the phone,the boy kept repeating,“He killed Moin and he would have killed me too. He used to beat me up,but I wouldn’t say anything. Now I want to study.”

Meanwhile,Moin’s parents are coming to claim his body,which lies in a hospital in Northwest Delhi. Though their train was supposed to arrive in Delhi from Madhubani,Bihar,on Tuesday,it got delayed.

Several efforts by the ashram members to contact the parents of their new inmate,meanwhile,went in vain. “Employers don’t ever show child labourers any mercy. If any of them lag behind,they are beaten badly,” a BBA worker said.

BBA national secretary Rakesh Senger said his organisation has been complaining of child labour in the area to the authorities since 2010,but to no avail.