The 11-year-old had run away from his relative’s home saying he was going to visit a public toilet; says he wanted go back to his home in Pandharpur and met a man who made him sit in a train to CST
Not all who wander are lost, wrote fantasy fiction writer JRR Tolkien. And railway police found out one such person, an 11-year-old schoolboy, who was wandering about alone in the waiting room at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), thinking of ways to return to his hometown of Pandharpur.
Ajit Shirsagar said he missed his mother and his hometown Pandharpur, and that he wasn’t comfortable studying in the city
The homesick boy had left his relatives’ home, where he had been staying for the past three months, on the pretext of using a public toilet. Ajit Shirsagar came to Kalyan three months ago to stay with his aunt and uncle. His mother, Sharmila, who works as a house help in Pandharpur, had sent him to the city because he would play truant back home by skipping school. Worried, she sent him with his cousins to Kalyan and Ajit was enrolled in Std IV.
On Saturday, late in the afternoon, Ajit told his relatives he was going to use a public toilet. When the boy failed to return by 10 pm, panicking relatives rushed to the Mahatma Phule police station in Kalyan. Since it was a case of a minor going missing, police registered a kidnapping case.
‘Ma, I’m coming home’
At around 11.30 pm the same day, a Government Railway Police (GRP) female constable found Ajit inside the waiting room at CST, wandering. Upon enquiring, she learnt that Ajit had run away from home. The constable took him to the GRP office and prodded him to speak further, and the boy revealed his desire to go back home and to his mother.
“I wanted to go back to Pandharpur. When I had been to the toilet, I met an old, bearded man, who gave me R100 and made me sit in a train moving towards CST. After I reached here, I spent R25 on vada pav and biscuits,” Ajit told mid-day. The child said he was not comfortable studying here.
GRP then contacted the Mahatma Phule police, who informed the boy’s relatives that he had been found. The relieved kin came to Kalyan around 3 am on Sunday and took him home. Poilce Sub-inspector Mahinkar, the investigating official from Mahatma Phule police station, said, “We are still investigating in this matter.” Ajit was to go back home yesterday in the evening with his mother.