Parents to wait to get back missing son after 21 years

Matiur Rahman

Matiur Rahman, who went missing in 2002, was located in India after 21 years and was scheduled to return home after 21 years. He was scheduled to return home today, Tuesday via Hili land port in Dinajpur.

Phulbari immigration police in India informed Banglabandha immigration police on Tuesday that Matiur Rahman could not be sent back due to some mistakes in his travel documents.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Banglabandha immigration police officer-in-charge Nazrul Islam said Phulbari immigration police informed them he was not sent back due to mistakes in travel documents.

Matiur's cousin Naum Asad said over the phone that his (Matiur) relatives returned home as Matiur was not sent back. Earlier, Matiur's father Shahidul Islam told Prothom Alo that he was asked to go to Hili land port to receive his son today, Tuesday.

It was an incident in 2002. Matiur Rahman was then a boy of 15 years. He went missing all of a sudden. He was looked for at all possible spots across the country. But he couldn't be traced. Shahidul Islam-Marzina Begum couple was scheduled to get back their beloved son after 21 years.

The mystery is yet to be known as to when and how Matiur traveled to India.

Matiur is a resident of Dakshin Debidanga village in Akhanagar union of Thakurgaon. He was born in 1987. He is the eldest son of the family.

Shahidul Islam informed Thakurgaon police station about the disappearance of his son in 2002. "I have looked for my son throughout the country, but couldn't trace," he said.

The news of Matiur Rahman returning to the country was found in an email sent by Bharat Vatwani, who was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award and the founder of The Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation.

Bharat Vatwani sent the email to Ramon Magsaysay Award recipients in Bangladesh, including Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman and icddr,b senior scientist Firdausi Qadri.

According to the mail, the Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation activists rescued Matiur in a devastating state from Karjat area of Mumbai in June 2019.

Physicians of this foundation treated him and Matiur Rahman was diagnosed as a probable Schizophrenia patient. Once it was discovered he is from Bangladesh. The Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation provides treatment for mentally ill destitutes wandering on the streets and rehabilitates them. Since the inception of this foundation in 2006, the organisation has returned over 10,000 people to their families after providing treatment.

After the coronavirus pandemic started to come down, locating the home of Matiur Rahman started. Non-government organisation Snehaloy in Ahmedabad of India joined the initiative.

Nitish Sharma of the Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation contacted Raha Nabokumar and his wife Tandra Barua of Noakhali Gandhi Ashram Trust over the matter. At one stage Matiur's family was located in Thakurgaon.

Holy Eid-ul-Azha is set to be celebrated on Thursday. Matiur's parents and relatives were expecting him ahead of the festival. The founder of the Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation, Bharat Vatwani, also did not forget to write what a delight the reunion would be.