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'Missing' boy from Karnataka found in his 'dream city' Mumbai

A 15-year-old boy, who had gone "missing" from Karnataka a month ago, was today traced in Mumbai, where he had come on his own accord to fulfil his dream of visiting the metropolis once in his life, police said today. The teenager identified as Navratna Sharma, a resident of Nehru Nagar at Kumta town in north Karnataka, was found in south Mumbai's Nagpada area today and was later handed over to a Karnataka police team that rushed here, Avinash Dharmadhikari, inspector with Mumbai Crime Branch (Unit III) told PTI. According to police, Sharma had gone missing with Rs 12,000 cash that was given to him by his family on August 5 to deposit in a bank. However, he did not return home and his mobile phone was also switched off.

Subsequently, the family registered a kidnapping case at Kumta police station. However, Sharma, who nurtured a dream of travelling to Mumbai, reached the metropolis without informing his family, police said. "Since he had cash with him, he arrived here and spent his nights on the footpaths, visiting different places in the city during the day.

The police in Karnataka tracked his phone calls and alerted the Mumbai Police Crime branch about his presence in South Mumbai's Nagpada area. Then a police team from Karnataka left for Mumbai," he added. Possessing Sharma's photograph, city crime branch officials carried out an intensive search in Nagpada area and the teenager was traced, Dharmadhikari said. "The boy was brought to our office.

He was spotted with a footwear seller Pankaj Chauhan, who provided him shelter," the officer said. A fortnight ago, Sharma, who was running out of the cash, had approached Chauhan saying that he had no family members, following which the latter employed him, police said. "Despite running out of cash, Sharma did not return home as he was scared of getting scolded by his family members for running away," Dharmadhikari said.

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