Mumbai: Hope for family as missing autistic teenager spotted on Gujarat trains
The 16-year-old autistic boy's father believes his son is travelling between Ahmedabad and Jamnagar via Devagiri Express as multiple reports emerged from these places.
Search for missing autistic teenager Tarun Gupta has taken an optimistic turn over the past 10 days. According to the 16-year-old's father, Vinod Kumar Gupta, nearly 20 people have called him or his relatives over the past few days, to report sightings of his lost son. All sightings have been from the Jamnagar-Baroda-Ahmedabad region.
"We will find him any day now," said a hopeful Gupta. "About a month-and-a-half ago, Tarun was aboard the Devagiri Express, which runs between Mumbai and Secunderabad. He was in the AC compartment. I came to know this because the train ticket collector called me eight days ago. When the train neared Vasai, he saw posters and stickers announcing that Tarun was missing alongwith a number to call on in case he was sighted. He told me that Tarun was in the AC coach for two to three hours; passengers started complaining about him so he went and sat near the toilet...and that he had got off at Jamnagar, which is where the train route ends."
His parents Asha and Vinod. Over the past few months, Gupta and his friends have been putting up posters on trains coming in and out of Mumbai
Gupta and a few friends left for Baroda and have been there for the past five days, searching for Tarun. "The day we reached here was also the day Tarun was coincidentally spotted in Baroda," he said. "A train commuter called me on Wednesday and told me that he had spotted Tarun at the bhajiya stall outside Baroda station. I have relatives in Baroda so I asked them to check... and they confirmed that people in the area had told them that Tarun was spotted there on February 5."
On Friday night, Gupta and his friends left Jamnagar and travelled by road to Dwarka, searching for Tarun along the way. "There are 72 stations between Virar and Ahmedabad...we are searching each and every one of them," he said. "I believe we are very close to finding him. There is a pattern. He is moving by train, and sleeping on platforms, then asking people for food, and then again boards a train—all of this between Jamnagar, Baroda and Ahmedabad. In the last 10 days, at least 20 people have told me that they had seen him in these places. We will find him at any moment."
It has been over 120 days since the autistic teenager went missing from his house near Colaba. Despite multiple "high priority alerts" issued by the RPF, as well as the deployment of a search team by Mumbai Police to search for him, Tarun is yet to be found and brought back home. Over the past month, Gupta, along with a few friends and relatives, have been putting up posters and stickers on almost each and every train that comes in and out of Mumbai.
No of days Tarun has been missing
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