Dubai dreams for 11-year-old boy turn to horror as parents abandon him at Goa airport

File photo: Air India’s newly acquired Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft ‘Andhra Pradesh’ (L) and an Airbus A321 on the tarmac of Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images

MAYABHUSHAN NAGVENKAR
IANS

Goa — He dreamt of flying to Dubai, but instead 11-year-old Sameer Bagoda’s parents abandoned him at the Goa airport, gave him Rs.500 ($8 US) and told him to head to his hometown of Satara in neighbouring Indian state Maharashtra.

Sameer was found abandoned at Goa’s only international airport sobbing and anxious to see his parents again.

According to police, Sameer had arrived at the airport with his parents, Shivani and Shobha Bagoda, Tuesday afternoon.

“They told him that the family was flying to Dubai. He was excited. But when they reached the airport, they gave him Rs.500 and asked him to head back to Satara, abandoning him there,” a police officer told IANS.

The officer claimed the Bagoda trio travelled from Satara to Goa by train a day earlier.

A confused and scared Sameer was first noticed by security personnel outside the Dabolim airport with a small bag containing food and clothes.

When airport officials tried to speak to him, he appeared frozen, almost in shock, unable to give any personal details.

It took a while to break the ice. That’s when he revealed details like his name, how he landed there and the names of his family members.

“We know that he is from Satara, because he has repeatedly told us about some landmarks there,” the officer said.

Even with the help of CCTV cameras and security footage at the airport, police have been unable to track down the boy’s parents.

With the help of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and aided by Sameer, police scanned nearly all the footage ranging from the time the boy claims he was dropped off until the flight to Dubai later that afternoon.

“There is no track of his parents’ names on flight manifests too. We expanded the CCTV search from the lobby to the security clearance and boarding area for the Dubai flight and later widened it to cover all other flights, but to no avail,” an officer said.

Police are now in the process of checking hotel records and train departure lists to check if the couple is listed anywhere. A team is also expected to leave for Satara to verify the landmarks mentioned by the boy and scout for his address.

As for Sameer, he is still in shock and receiving counselling.

mayabhushan.n@ians.in

IANS 2014-05-09 10:34:03

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