Forty years after he went missing from Imphal, Khomdram Gambhir was finally traced in Mumbai by police on Sunday and is likely to return to his native place next week.
According to police, Gambhir, who served the Manipur rifles for seven years, left his home in Imphal in 1978, without informing any family member. His younger brother, Khomram Kulachandra, told police that Gambhir was married to a woman for three months after which they got separated. Two months later, he left home without informing anyone.
A year later, his family learnt that he was in Mizoram but when his parents went to look for him, he had already left for another place.
While his family failed to figure out the reason behind his leaving, his younger brother, who was a teenager then, said Gambhir appeared to be disturbed over a few things but never shared it with anyone.
The family continued to look for him for several years. However, Kulachandra came to know about his brother’s whereabouts on Saturday morning, when one of his nephew, Romen Leichombam, showed him a video taken by a street photographer. Firoze had reportedly uploaded the video on YouTube in October last year.
“I could not believe when a nephew of mine came running to me with a video footage of my brother. When I saw the video, I could not stop crying. I could neither sleep nor eat thereafter. I was very happy to know that he is alive. This is like waking up from a nightmare,” Kulachandra said.
The video caught the attention of Aheibam Dinamani, an assistant professor at NERIST university of Arunachal Pradesh, who contacted Romen and informed him about the man from Manipur living in the streets of Mumbai.
Since the family financially found it difficult to bring the man home on their own, they contacted Mumbai Police and lodged a complaint with Patsoi police station. The kin, along with two policemen from Manipur, are expected to bring the man back to his hometown next week.
Meanwhile, political activist Angellica Aribam on Sunday lauded the Mumbai Police for successfully tracing the missing man. Taking to Twitter, Aribam said, “Thanks @MumbaiPolice for locating the man and safeguarding him in your custody. His family will bring him back to Imphal after 40 years. Thanks everyone for your help.”
Thanks @MumbaiPolice for locating the man and safeguarding him in your custody. His family will bring him back to Imphal after 40 years. Thanks everyone for your help.
I’m now deleting the original tweet. https://t.co/pEhDFHc7Jm
— Angellica Aribam (@AngellicAribam) April 15, 2018
While referring to the YouTube video, she had earlier urged the police to locate the man. “Hi @MumbaiPolice, This man was untraceable for around 40 years and his family has been looking for him. This video taken by a photographer at Bandra has surfaced. Please help in finding him. Family can be contacted at **********,” she had posted on the micro-blogging site.