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KAMRUP/KOKRAJHAR: In a strange turn of events in Assam's Kokrajhar and Kamrup districts, two couples are awaiting the result of a DNA test of a 15- year-old boy to seek possession of him.
One of the couples identified as Manoranjan and Uma Das claim the boy to be their son Bishal Das who went missing during the 2012 violence in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts of Western Assam, involving the Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslims.
Contrary to this, Maleka Khatun, a widow and a resident of Sontali village near Boko in Kamrup District has refused to hand over the boy claiming him to be her son. She is believed to have given him shelter and renamed him Saiful.
Ethnic tensions between Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslims escalated into a riot in Kokrajhar on 20 July 2012, when unidentified miscreants killed four Bodo youths at Joypur, displacing over four lakh people, thousands of whom are yet to return to their homes.
Manoranjan and Uma who live in Besimari village under Fakiragram in Kokrajhar district claim that Bishal, who was then 11, was visiting his aunt Sabitribala Das in Jaraguri village in Bongaigaon district when the violence began. After the violence subsided, he left for home with Sabitribala's son Bipul, 16. However, the two never made it to Fakiragram. Sabitribala eventually lodged an FIR
at the Gerukabari police outpost after nearly a month of waiting.
Kumar Sanjit Krishna, Superintendent of Police, Bongaigaon informed that thay had registered the missing person's FIR in which a woman said her son Bipul and nephew Bishal had gone missing. In August last year, the woman informed that one of the boys, Bishal, had been traced in a village near Boko in Kamrup district. When Bishal's parents went to that village, they recognised their son and the boy also seemed to recognise his parents. But Maleka Khatun, in whose house the boy has been living since 2012 claimed him to be her son, and refused to part with him.
This led to Manoranjan and Uma lodging another complaint saying their son was forcibly confined by Maleka Khatun. Police in turn informed the district child protection officials, who later took charge of the boy.
"As two couples are claiming to be parents of the boy, we have referred the matter to the forensic science laboratory for a DNA test," SP Krishna said, adding that while Manoranjan and Uma reported to the Bongaigaon Civil Hospital for collection of blood samples, Maleka did not turn up.
B K Das, officer in-charge of Sontali police outpost, said he was not aware whether Maleka had been served with a notice to present herself for the DNA test.
Once the test results arrive, the boy would be reunited with his parents, SP Krishna said.
Meanwhile, police are underway to determine how Bishal reached Kamrup district and also the whereabouts of his missing cousin Bipul. Bishal informed them that both of them had boarded the Guwahati bound train at Bijni after being unable to get to Fakiragram due to the unrest. From Guwahati, both reportedly took a bus and reached Boko, where they somehow got separated.
SP Krishna also informed that Bishal was given shelter by Maleka who allegedly made him work at a roadside tea-stall. Henceforth, Bishal's picture also found a way into the social media site as being missing.
TNT Desk, sources