Salem (TN): Seventeen years after he was reported missing in Chattisgarh, a son was reunited with his father here.

The father Kaliyan said he and his son had gone to Chhatisgarh in 1998 after the death of his wife in search of work and landed a job in a quarry. However they faced language problems.

One day, his son went missing and he filed a complaint with police, who made enquiries. They learnt from their counterparts in Delhi that a boy fitting that description and 'mentally unsound' was wandering around in the streets of the capital.

Police there sent him to a government hospital where he was treated and cured. The boy then told them details of how they had migrated to Chattisgarh from his native village Pethanaikenpalayam. Hospital authorities then approached a court in Delhi.

Acting on its direction, hospital officials and police brought him here and handed him over to the district Chief Judicial Magistrate.

The CJM contacted a help line of an NGO, which traced the father to the village and told him that his son had been found.

Marimuthu, now 34, had a tearful reunion with his father yesterday.