Updated: January 28, 2021 7:59:39 am
Sitting next to a house with a thatched roof in their village Kumharon ka Tiba in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, Jamaram Meghwal and his wife Amku Devi hold on to a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The letter, with the thumb impression of Meghwal, requests the PM to help bring back their 18-year-old son Gemraram, who mistakenly crossed into Pakistan two-and-a-half months ago while trying to escape after being caught at a friend’s house.
The police say the Pakistani Rangers confirmed to the BSF at a flag meeting on January 5 that Gemraram, a Class 11 student, was in their custody. “He had gone to meet a girl in his neighbourhood on November 4-5 night. At around 1-1.30 am, the girl’s family members spotted him and he fled, and ended up crossing the border, which is near their house. We got to know about the incident when a missing report was lodged by his family on November 16,” said Jetha Ram, SHO Binjrad Police Station, adding that they had contacted the BSF.
Gemraram and the girl, who is a minor, were in love, says his elder brother Jugtaram. “Since schools have been shut since the Covid-19 lockdown, he had been working in Jodhpur at a furniture shop. He had returned on November 4 and the same night went to meet his friend… When we tried calling his mobile on November 5, the call didn’t go through,” says Jugtaram, who also works in Jodhpur.
The girl’s family, however, denies any relationship between her and Gemraram.
Jugtaram says the girl’s family had called him up the same night and informed what had happened. “Ever since, they have been troubling us. They also put pressure on us to not search for my brother, saying it will jeopardise their honour,” says Jugtaram. He adds that they got the first inkling that Gemraram had crossed the border when BSF officials came enquiring about him 10 days later.
They are 12 siblings, with Gemraram the eighth. The family migrated from Pakistan in 1971.
The girl’s father says Gemraram had entered their house with “the wrong intention”. The family says they were not even friends, though in the same school, and the girl had complained of being harassed by him and his brothers.
Having approached numerous officials, including the district SP, with memorandums for his release, Gemraram’s family has finally decided to write to the PM. Congress leader Manvendra Singh, an ex-MP and former MLA from the constituency that covers Gemraram’s village, tweeted on Monday that requisite documents had been sent to the Pakistan Foreign Ministry. “Now, officials at the Indian Embassy in Islamabad will complete the requisite action,” he said.
Additional Superintendent of Police, Barmer, Narpat Singh said: “On January 5, the BSF came to know during a flag meeting with the Pakistani Rangers that Gemraram is in Pakistan and in judicial custody. Efforts to bring him back are being made at the government level.”
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