Running away from home mysteriously for a second time in 11 years, 28-year-old Jitendra Arjunwar from Madhya Pradesh has landed himself in Hyderabad Central Jail in Sindh, Pakistan, on charges of trespass.
Jitendra’s brother Bharat (20), a car mechanic, speaking to this reporter on the phone from Barghat in Seoni district, said: “I was small when he left [for the first time]. He was around 16. My father used to sell savouries. He shouted at my brother for committing some mistake. That’s why he ran away in 2002 without telling me.”
The boy’s father Ishwar Prasad hanged himself a few months after Jitendra had left. Bharat claimed his father was an alcoholic but, he said, the suicide was sudden.
Police were unable to trace Jitendra and finally closed the case in 2009. Meanwhile, another brother Brijesh died of illness, leaving his mother who can’t walk sister Taruna (now 16) and Bharat, the breadwinner. Bharat and Jitendra have studied up to class 6.
“The family says Jitendra came back last year but they did not inform us. He apparently kept a low profile as we did not have any information of his presence,” Barghat Police Station in-charge B.S. Gothia told The Hindu.
“He did not talk much after he returned. He started selling oranges and chickpeas at the market. We too did not pester him lest he run away again. But three months ago he left home. He did not say where to,” said Bharat.
The police were unaware of the case until it appeared in the news. It was they who broke the news to the family. “On Friday, the police took away my brother’s phone, saying they want to check something. They still have not returned it,” added Bharat. But Inspector Gothia said: “We did not seize anything. There’s no case. That phone is password-protected and these people don’t know the password. So we left it there.”
For his part, Superintendent of Police Mithlesh Shukla said he had not received any instruction yet from Bhopal or New Delhi.