Two couples in Assam’s Kokrajhar and Kamrup districts, separated by around 200 km, are awaiting the result of a DNA test to decide with whom a 15-year-old goes. Till the time the dispute is resolved, the officials have taken away the boy from both the couples and shifted him to a children’s home in Guwahati.
Manoranjan and Uma Das claim the boy is their son Bishal Das, who went missing during the 2012 violence in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts of western Assam, involving Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslims.
Maleka Khatun, a widow who lives in Sontali village near Boko in Kamrup district, and who is believed to have given him shelter and renamed him Saiful, has refused to hand him over, saying the 15-year-old was her son.
Manoranjan and Uma live in Besimari village under Fakiragram in Kokrajhar district. They say that Bishal, who was then 11, was visiting his aunt Sabitribala Das in Jaraguri village in Bongaigaon district when the violence started. After the violence subsided, he left for home with Sabitribala’s son Bipul, 16. The two never made it to Fakiragram. Sabitribala eventually lodged an FIR at the Gerukabari police outpost after nearly a month of waiting.
‘We registered the missing person’s FIR in which a woman said her son Bipul and nephew Bishal had gone missing. In August last year, the woman informed us that one of the boys, Bishal, had been traced to a village near Boko in Kamrup district. When Bishal’s parents went to that village, they recognised their son and the boy too recognised his parents. But Maleka Khatun, in whose house the boy has been living since 2012, has claimed him to be her son, and has refused to part with him,’ said Kumar Sanjit Krishna, Superintendent of Police, Bongaigaon.
Now, Bishal has undergone a DNA test and once the results come out, he will be united with his biological parents.