It has been 40 days since 69-year-old Martaba Mohammed Isha Khan went missing from a prayer hall on Reay Road. The ‘missing’ posters of him, pasted outside government hospitals as well as Western and Central Railway stations across Mumbai, are hard to miss.
Khan had lived in Mumbai for 40 years, running a fruit stall, before handing it over to his son Aftab and moving to his native town in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh.
In February, he returned to Mumbai to undergo a series of tests. “He was getting more forgetful with each passing day. We took him to R N Cooper Hospital, where he was admitted starting February 18 for a few days,” said Parvez Alam (35), his son-in-law.
On April 26, Khan went to offer namaz in a dargah in Darukhana with his daughter, Ruksana, at around 2 pm. Ruksana (35) remembers offering her prayers and returning to the spot where she last saw her father praying. “He was nowhere to be found. I asked people but no one remembered seeing a bearded man,” she said.
Ruksana returned home and waited for him. When he did not return, she called her husband, Parvez, who was in Kandivali for work. “I left as soon as I heard the news. I searched for him everywhere in our neighbourhood but nobody knew where he went. It was as if he vanished into thin air,” said Parvez.
Khan’s neighbours said he was a friendly man. However, a few months ago, he started forgetting daily chores, or where he kept his belongings, and slowly grew reserved.
On April 26, Khan’s children filed a missing complaint with Sewri Police. On Wednesday, they also visited the Crime Branch. “The police has been dragging its feet in the case. He could have gone anywhere through a train and they have not even started looking,” alleged Parvez.
There is a fear, said Khan’s daughter, that he may be wandering the roads, unable to remember the location of his house.