Joined: 11 February 2005
Joined: 12 November 2006
Joined: 10 August 2005
Parzania-II: Boy found, but won't return
24 Jul 2008, 0107 hrs IST,TNN
Muzaffar, now Vivek Vikram Patni. (TOI Photo)
AHMEDABAD: Almost over six years after post-Godhra riots, a Muslim couple found their missing son not only alive, but raised by a Hindu couple. However, the case now looks like a legal battle over custody between the two sets of parents. It has also rekindled hopes of many other parents who lost their children in the riots.
A Metropolitan court on Wednesday dismissed the Muslim couple's plea for custody of their son, after the boy himself refused to go with his real parents.
Mohammed Salim Shaikh and his wife Jaibunnisa along with their two sons had sought refuge in Gulbarg society on the fateful day of February 28, 2002. During the mob attack, 38 persons were killed and 31 went missing. Among them were Shaikh's sister and his two-and-a-half-year-old son, Muzaffar, now Vivek Vikram Patni. The couple lost track of the kid after they gathered for shelter in late MP Ahsan Jafri's house.
On July 14, the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) told the Shaikhs that their son was alive. According to SIT, Muzaffar went missing during the attack, and was found by a constable of the crime branch, who took the boy to his cousin - Vikram and Meena Patni in Saraspur. They raised him as their son. Since then, Muzaffar, now nine, is living with the Patni family, who is in the business of selling fish.
"We found the boy a year and a half ago and informed the SIT who carried out the DNA test last month," said Teesta Setalvad of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP)
The DNA sample matched with Shaikh and his wife. After this the couple filed for custody in the metropolitan court. However, when Meena refused custody, the court asked the boy who also refused to go and preferred to stay with Meena.
Aggrieved with the court's decision, Shaikh is now planning to move Gujarat High Court for the custody. "A missing persons' report has been lodged for my son at Meghaninagar police station, and this couple had also assured the police that they would return this kid when police would find the child's real parent. And now the woman is denying, but I will fight till the Supreme Court for Muzaffar," he said. Shaikh has three other children and works in a plastic manufacturing company in Naroda.
The development has rekindled hope for the Modys, a Parsi family which took shelter in Jafri's house and their son Azhar went missing. "Now, we have hope of finding Azzu as well," said Dara Mody, his father. This story had inspired the film Parzania.
Joined: 06 June 2006
Joined: 06 June 2006
Hi BB - thanks to you too for this very interesting but sad article.Much as i sympathize with the boy's wishes and feelings, it has to be right that he is introduced back into his natural family, who only lost him in very difficult and challenging circumstances, not because they were evil and unloving parents.
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