Mumbai: Missing Mulund youth back home, cops to still interrogate
Officers say investigation will continue as there are contradictions in the statements of Jagdish Parihar and his brother Bhavesh on why he had left and where he had gone
Mulund youth Jagdish Parihar, who had gone missing last month, returned home on Sunday evening. The police said the 23-year-old had gone to Dubai and taken up the job of a clean-up supervisor. The youth is believed to have told investigators that he came back to dispel any worries or notions about him being radicalised, adding that he'd left because he didn't want to work at his family shop and wanted to do "something else".
What family had said
Jagdish had left home around 1.30 pm on October 23, telling his family he was going to Mumbai University to fill some forms for his (third year) BCom course, and hadn't come back.
His brother Bhavesh had told the police that Jagdish had called them around 7.30 pm and said he was unhappy with Hinduism and wished to convert to Islam, adding that he wouldn't return home. Fearing he had been radicalised, the family had informed the Mulund police, who'd taken a serious note of it and immediately alerted the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). Officers suspected Jagdish had been honeytrapped, after Bhavesh told the police he used to frequently chat with a woman and erase his computer's search history.
What youth says now
Jagdish, however, has rubbished these claims and told the police he'd never said he was unhappy with Hinduism and wanted to convert. "He said he had been trying for a visa for a year and used to carry out online searches for that, during which he came across an agent who helped him to get it," said an officer. Jagdish also told the police that he never chatted with any woman, neither was he a Facebook addict, having used the social networking platform only "occasionally". He told officers that he loved to play online games, but after his parents scolded him for it, he stopped that too.
The youth said that after he went abroad, his Indian SIM card had stopped working and, hence, he called his family sparingly, whenever he was within a Wi-Fi network's range. After he got a local SIM and passed it on to his family and relatives, they had longer conversations, where everyone told him how his disappearance was being looked at, with the police and ATS making inquiries, and also that it had mentally affected all of them, and hence, he decided to return to clear the air, Jagdish has reportedly told cops.
The police, however, are not breathing easy, saying they have found contradictions in both brothers' statements. DCP (zone VII) Akhilesh Kumar Singh told mid-day, "Now that the boy is back, our cross-questioning has started. We are conducting further investigations into this."
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