A 13-year-old boy kept security forces at the domestic airport on their toes for more than eight hours on Monday by slipping into the check-in area without any papers and then lying to the officials. The authorities had no idea what to make of the teenager’s intrusion, until they eventually learnt that he had run away from his home in West Bengal and was simply passing time at the airport.
Child’s play: The boy managed to sneak in past the security personnel at the departure gate and headed towards the check-in area, where he was spotted by the CISF. File pic
The teen, Arshad Mondal, had managed to slip in past the security personnel at Terminal 1B’s departure gate while they were busy checking passengers’ documents. From there, he headed to the check-in area, where the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) noticed his presence around 11.10 am. Clad in a white t-shirt and blue jeans, the boy was seen loitering, carrying a backpack with him.
Their suspicions raised, the officials questioned Arshad, who claimed that he was looking for his parents, with whom he was supposed to fly to Goa.
Arshad was not carrying the required travel documents, so the matter was forwarded to the senior-most CISF officials present at the terminal.
They attempted to locate the boy’s parents by repeatedly announcing their names on the PA system. When that didn’t work, they checked the manifests of all Goa-bounds flights, looking for the parents’ names, but found no trace of them.
“It was then that doubts about the boy increased and it was decided that a body check should be conducted,” said a police official from Airport police station. The CISF staff conducted a proper body search and the contents of Arshad’s bag were checked as well, but nothing objectionable was found. All they found were two pairs of pants and shirts and Rs 1,000.
The officials then intensified the questioning, after which the boy gave them his father’s mobile number. To their surprise, the father informed them that Arshad had run away from his home all the way in Begampur, a town in West Bengal.
“After a heated argument, Arshad stole money from us and ran away from home a week ago. We didn’t know he was in Mumbai. It was only when I was called by the official did I come to know he was there,” said Arshad’s father, Abbas Ali Mondal.
With the mystery solved, the boy was handed over to the Airport police station around 7.30 pm, from where his uncle picked him up. The boy is currently residing at his uncle’s house in Kurla, but he will be reunited with his family in West Bengal, said Assistant Commissioner of Police Madhukar Sankhe of the Airport division.