A 60-year-old man suffering from dementia, reported missing by a Dombivli family, was allegedly found by Powai police and admitted to a Vikhroli-based shelter home, only to go missing again, after which his family approached the police accusing the shelter home of negligence.
The senior citizen, Bhikhalal Jhanjrukiya, went for an evening stroll with his wife Manjula in Dombivli on April 4. “We walked for half an hour. After that he took a right turn and disappeared,” she said. The family lodged a missing person’s report in Ram Nagar police station, Dombivali, the same day after searching him for hours.
“On April 8, a relative found my father’s video on WhatsApp that was circulated by Powai police. We immediately approached the police station. They had found him in Powai garden and admitted him to a shelter home,” said son Bhavesh Jhanjrukiya, 34, a daily-wage labourer.
According to Powai police officers, the senior citizen was found in a garden by a local resident, who alerted the police on April 5. Jhanjrukiya was taken to Jogeshwari-based Hindu Hruday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Care Hospital for stomach pain and administered medicines. On April 5, Jhanjrukiya was taken to Vijay Ashram, a home for destitute, in Vikhroli by Powai police.
The 60-year-old suffers from dementia and progressive mental illness that have hampered his cognitive functions. When his disability certificate was prepared by JJ hospital in 2017, he had already developed 55 per cent of disability.
The family alleges when they reached the shelter home on April 8 after watching the online video, they were informed that Jhanjrukiya had walked off by himself. The shelter home had allegedly not notified the Powai police after his disappearance.
The family has now lodged a complaint against the shelter home in Vikhroli police station even as search for the senior citizen continues. According to Senior Police Inspector Sanjay More, investigation in the case is ongoing. “We have registered a non-cognisable offence. Efforts to find the senior citizen are underway,” said More.
An official from Vijay Ashram said the senior citizen was brought by police but he left within few hours the same day.
The family has now started approaching beggars’ homes, old age homes and shelter homes across Mumbai in search of Jhanjrukiya.
According to doctors, a patient with dementia and mental disability has tendency to wander off and forget how to return home. Records with Powai police show Jhanjrukiya remembered his first name and father’s name, but had forgotten his surname, when he was admitted to the shelter home.