Mumbai: Tourist vanishes from JJ hospital; cops, friends baffled

Oct 18, 2014, 05:21 IST | Pooja Kalwar

37-year-old Arif Dafedar's friends and the police have been looking for him since he went missing under mysterious circumstances over a week ago from the state-run JJ Hospital

As was their custom every year, 37-year-old Arif Dafedar and eight of his friends arrived in Mumbai on October 8, with the intention of exploring the city. Their vacation was cut short, however, when Dafedar mysteriously went missing two days later.

The group had come from Belgaum, Karnataka, and were staying at Gujarat Hostel in Bhendi Bazaar. On the morning of October 9, just when they were getting ready to go out for sightseeing, Dafedar complained that he was having difficulty walking and speaking. His friends took him to the state-run JJ Hospital, but after conducting several tests, the doctors declared there was nothing wrong with him.

While his friends were confused, they decided Dafedar should continue to stay at the casualty ward in the hospital, and they made sure that he was accompanied by two of them at all times. That very evening, Dafedar attempted to leave the hospital, but his friends brought him back.

On waking up the next morning, however, his friends — who had been sleeping outside the ward — discovered he was missing. The entire group was informed, and they began searching for Dafedar in and around the hospital, but could not spot him. Weary and frustrated, they complained to the hospital management, but did not receive assistance.

They then approached the JJ Marg police, in the hope that they would be able to find some answers. The cops checked CCTV footage of the casualty corridor and learned that Dafedar had walked out of the hospital at 6.28 am. The other CCTV near the main building’s entrance was out of order, and only showed blank footage. Complaints were lodged at Dongri police station, Nagpada police station, Marine Drive police station, and JJ Marg police station.

Imtiaz Mulla, one of Dafedar’s relatives who lives in the city, said, “We looked for him in all the areas close to JJ Hospital, but have not been able to trace him. We also searched for him in KEM hospital in Parel, GT Hospital in Fort and at CST station’s Missing Persons Bureau.” But despite exhaustive efforts to find him, Dafedar’s friends and the police are yet to find any trace of him. Although they had planned a ten-day trip, with no leads so far, his friends finally returned home two days ago.

Official speak
Sunil Davne, the investigating police officer from JJ Marg police station, said, “We are still trying to trace him. We have intimated other police stations in Mumbai, and have used posters along with his photographs.”

Where is Arif Dafedar?
Age: 37
Height: 5.3 ft
Complexion: Wheatish
Last seen in: Green checked shirt and black pants
Last known location: JJ Hospital

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