Missing children in US: Parents least concerned

Days after seven students from Jalandhar district,who were on an educational tour of NASA,went missing in the US,the parents of three of them did not turn up at a meeting called on Friday called by the school authorities and the Delhi-based Academic Excellence Company that had arranged the trip.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar | Updated: April 15, 2014 6:00:07 pm

Days after seven students from Jalandhar district,who were on an educational tour of NASA,went missing in the US,the parents of three of them did not turn up at a meeting called on Friday called by the school authorities and the Delhi-based Academic Excellence Company that had arranged the trip.

Nearly 40 students of 10+2,from three schools in the district — three each from State Public School Nakodar and State Public School Shahkot and one from Emm Aar International School in Adampur — had left for the trip on April 11. All except the seven returned on April 23.

The school authorities,who had informed the police in the US and the parents immediately after they disappeared,alleged that the parents may be involved in the disappearing act as no family contacted the school after their wards went missing.

On Friday,the State Public School Nakodar authorities had called the parents of missing students Manveer,Sahil Kalra and Harpreet Singh Chattha. However,none of them turned up.

When contacted,Surjit Kaur,Manveer’s grandmother,said: “We did not contact the school authorities as we have given them in writing that if anything happens during this trip,the school authorities would not be responsible. If he had disappeared,it was his wish and he will manage himself. What they can do here?”

While Sahil Kalra’s father Rajkumar refused to speak,Harpreet’s father did not respond to phone calls.

In Shahkot,however,Dr Narottam Singh,chairman of group of state public schools,and representatives of the company met the parents of Ranjeet,Lovedeep and Jaskara Singh — students of State Public School Shahkot,who had disappeared.

The parents,though admitted that their children have contacted them,but were not ready to ask them to return. Narottam,however,told the parents that they will not provide any certificate to these students if they do not return. “Also,we are going lodge a complaint with the police here as we have in the US,” he added.

Contacted,Kuldeep Singh,father of Emm Aar International School student Karanjot Singh,who had disappeared from near Niagara falls in US,said: “What can I do? I am yet to decide whether to file a police complaint.” Asked whether his son has contacted him,Singh said Karanjot had contacted him once.

While he claimed visiting the school once,the school authorities alleged he had never come to them despite being called repeatedly.

A student who had returned from the trip said that Karanjot left in a car when they were having food at a restaurant. “Karanjot had spoken to someone on phone. Later,a big car arrived and Karan left in it,” he added.

Dr Sarav Tondon,chairman of the school,said: “If the call details of the parents were investigated,the truth will come out.”

Amit,an official of Academic Excellence Company said the firm has an office in the US too and if the parents of the disappeared students want,they will bring back the students. “We have provided the office numbers to the parents. The missing students can contact the company in the US,” he added.

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