Inspiring Lost and found: Muslim boy raised in Hindu family after 2002 riots

It is a very touching and inspiring story of a Muslim boy lost during the 2002 riots, and then raised by a wonderful Hindu family as their own. Veena Patni and family have to be commended for doing so much for an unidentified ‘orphan’ boy.

However, in an unprofessional manner, the High Court has told the families to continue the deception of true parenthood for now. It is important for the High Court to assign professional Counsellors, Pyschologists and Child protection agents to follow up and acclimatize the child and families to this strange situation. There should be sessions of individual and family counselling organized.

Muzaffar to spend Sunday with Ammi
4 Jan 2009
Ahmedabad: This Sunday will be special for the Shaikhs. Their lost son Muzaffar will be coming home. Muzaffar the nine-year old boy,who separated from his biological parents from Gulbarg society during the 2002 riots and was raised by a Hindu mother as Vivek, does not know that he will be going to his father’s place. He is to be kept under an impression that he is visiting his maternal uncle, at least for the coming month, till the next hearing in the High Court.

Accompanied with his mother Veena Patni, Vivek will be going every week to Mohammed Salim Shaikh-his maternal uncle’s house at Vatwa. The two families – the Patnis and the Shaikhs have ultimately broken the ice after having failed to reach to a compromise for last six months, Veena accepted Salim as her brother.

During a prolonged discussion before Justice DH Waghela, the two families came close and decided to mingle with each other in order to acclimatise the little boy at his biological parents’ house. Even the High Court also granted a sanction to this arrangement that the boy should go to Salim and his wife Jebunnisa, Vivek’s mother, as if he is going to Veena’s brother’s house.

However, the judge has restrained both the families from exerting any emotions on the boy. “Since the boy is facing a very unusual situation, the parties are requested to see that personal wishes of any of the parties are not imposed upon him, and a conducive environment should be provided for him for freely mixing in both the families,” the court observed.

Excited over their son’s first visit to their house after more than six years, Salim on Saturday went to Patani’s house at Saraspur and made arrangements for his sister’s visit to his home on Sunday afternoon. “I will go to pick them up. Veenaben and me both are usually busy on Sunday, therefore from next week we will try to bring the boy on Monday. Its bit difficult for me to pose before him as his maternal uncle, but we are happy in anyway he is coming back,” Salim said.

This emotional drama began last year, when the Shaikhs spotted their son Muzaffar in Vivek at Vina’s house, and took the SC appointed special investigation team (Godhra riots) to identify him. After the positive DNA tests, the family moved a magisterial court claiming the boy’s custody.

But the magistrate denied them custody after the boy refused to part away from Vina in an open court. After this court proceeding, which proved embarrassing for both the families, the families tried to reach to a compromise, but to no effect. Ultimately, the High Court intervened in the issue and both the families have agreed to the formula.

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