October 10, 2012 6:42:24 am
A 13-year-old boy,who ran away from his family and crossed over to India a year ago allegedly to meet Bollywood star Ajay Devgn,was among five Pakistanis freed by India through the Wagah land border on Tuesday.
Kashif Ali,13,was taken to Wagah border and handed to Pakistan Rangers, Deputy Commissioner Ravi Bhagat said. Pakistan based Ajoka Theatre groups creative director Madiha Gauhar and Kashifs family received the teenager at the border.
The teenager,a resident of Pakistans Okara district,was caught by BSF at Kasur border in Fazilka for crossing the border illegally. A Ferozepur court in April 2012 had sentenced him to three month imprisonment and sent to a Juvenile Home at Faridkot.
During an inspection on August 18,Administrative judge of Faridkot Division Rameshwar Singh Malik noticed that despite the completion of the sentence,the repatriation proceedings for Kasif had not been initiated. On his directions,the matter was taken up. The Indian officials then asked the Ajoka Theatre,when it came to Faridkot on September 20,to help them trace the Kashifs family.
I met Kashif and spoke to him to find out about his family. After returning to Pakistan,we traced his widowed mother in Dipalpur in Okara district of (Pakistan) Punjab, Gauhar said.
A video of Kashif,filmed by members of Ajoka Theatre,was beamed by TV news channels and police officials,who had been looking for the boy,saw the footage and contacted his family.
Kashifs mother Kulsoom Bibi had enrolled him in a Lahore madrasa in after his father died some years ago,but he did not like living there. While returning to the madrasa after a holiday,Kashif crossed the border.
While Kashif denied that he was crazy about about films,Shahbaz Ahmad,brother-in-law of the boy,had said Kashif was a fan of Devgn and wanted to meet him. Meanwhile,Gauhar said that she will stage a play based on Kashifs story to depict the plight of a child who crossed over due to fear of madrasa.
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