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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Army officer missing on way to Kolkata TNN 11 October 2009, 06:48am IST

KOLKATA: A junior commissioned officer (JCO) of the Indian Army has gone missing while on his way to Kolkata from Delhi by train. His family members in Kolkata have been running from pillar to post for the last 10 days, but have not succeeded in getting a missing diary registered at any police station. Intervention by officers of the missing JCO's unit has not helped, either. 

Naib Subedar Rohtash Singh (45) was posted at the 5TTR Signals Regiment in Goa. He left his family wife Savitri Devi and two sons in Kolkata, where he was posted till 2007. His daughter studies near Delhi. According to his commanding officer in Goa, Major R S Kanwar, Singh proceeded on a month's casual leave on September 19. 

In Greater Noida, he met his daughter. After spending some time with relatives in Uttar Pradesh, he decided to travel to Kolkata and spend the rest of his vacation with his family. 

On September 28, his nephew Amarjit saw him off on a local train bound for Delhi. At 7.16 am, he called up his wife in Kolkata and told her that he had boarded Kalka Mail. He was calling from the mobile of one P C Verma, a co-passenger. 

"His visit was to be a surprise. My mother informed me that he would be arriving at Howrah only on September 29. I went to the station but my father was not on the train. I went to the MCO at the station and was asked to wait for Poorva Express," said Singh's elder son Rampratap. 

Singh did not arrive by Poorva Express. Rampratap attended Kalka Mail on September 30 before paying a visit to the GRP station. Officials there refused to register a diary. The GRP in Delhi also refused to register a diary by Amarjit. On contacting Verma, the family came to know that Singh was on the train till Aligarh, where the former got off. A futile attempt was also made to lodge a complaint at Aligarh. 

On October 2, when Ramprasad was pasting pamphlets on the Kalka Mail with details about his father, a security personnel informed him that he had seen Singh in Dhanbad. Ramprasad rushed to Dhanbad where people around the station confirmed that they, too, had seen Singh. Police, however, refused to pay any heed to such unconfirmed sightings'. The family, through its own channels, managed to trace Singh's mobile which was switched off to Dhanbad on October 4. On October 5, the signal was traced to Asansol. 

"There was no reason for my father to get off at Dhanbad. His unit in Goa also sent a letter to the MCO in Howrah, confirming his disappearance. In spite of this, the GRP refused to take down a diary and start an investigation. I also went to the CID but they too did not register a complaint," Ramprasad said.

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