Police on Sunday intensified their search for Souvik Pal, a 19-year-od Indian student of Manchester Metropolitan University who has been missing since New Year’s eve, as they used a capacity-packed football stadium in Manchester to issue a public appeal for any information that might help them in their investigation.
They also released footage from CCTV cameras capturing Souvik’s last-known movements after leaving a Manchester nightclub.
A description of the missing boy was flashed on the pitch-side digital advertising hoardings at Old Trafford before kick-off at Sunday’s game between Manchester United and Liverpool. A public announcement was also made.
Souvik worked part-time at Manchester United serving drinks during matchdays — and last went there on December 29.
Police said that as Old Trafford was not far from Warehouse Project nightclub where Souvik was last seen, there could be someone in the crowd who may have some information.
“The police and the family of Souvik Pal are grateful to Manchester United for their support for this appeal. Souvik was last seen near the Warehouse Project, which is not far from Old Trafford. We hope that there could be someone among the crowd who may have some information that could help us,” said Detective Chief Inspector Colin Larkin.
Souvik’s father Santanu Pal, who flew in from Bangalore, said he would stay in Britain until his son was found.
“I am proud of my son and I will stay here until I get him back,” he said.
The CCTV footage shows Souvik in a pale shirt pacing up and down Trafford Wharf Road outside the nightclub. He is seen walking past the club’s entrance then turning and walking back.
Souvik went missing after reportedly being separated from his friends at the nightclub. Police said the doormen at the club had asked Souvik to leave the club shortly before 11pm on December 31. Souvik was “not described as drunk by anybody” and was ejected as the result of a misunderstanding about where the toilets were, they said.
He was reported missing by a flatmate next morning.
Souvik’s father said the boy did have plans to visit other parts of Britain but had not mentioned anything recently. The family last spoke to him at midnight — Indian time — on New Year’s Eve, when they told him to stick with his friends. The boy sounded in “good spirits” and was “joyous.”
Police divers have already combed the Bridgewater Canal near the club and will resume their search if new information emerges.