Thwarting all hopes of the family of the missing Rahul, to be reunited with their son, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed the closure report in the missing case for the fourth time before the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate on Thursday. The CBI, in its report, stated that the seven-year-old son of Raju, of Rahul Niwas, Ashramam Ward in Alappuzha, remains untraceable despite all efforts to trace him.
The closure report filed by K Rajagopal, DySP, CBI (Chennai unit), stated that after the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate had ordered re-investigation into the case in October 2013, they had interrogated several suspected persons.
“Mahesh, a resident of Ashramam Ward, who, along with his co-workers, was constructing a septic tank at the new house of Abdul Aziz in the same ward, were quetioned to find out if they had any involvement with the case. Mahesh and his co-workers Shaji and Thambi came to the house of Abdul Aziz by 8 am and they worked till 6 pm. The statement of the witnesses also proved that they were present at the house and have no involvement in the case,” the CBI stated. The agency further submitted that during the investigation it was revealed that Asanparambu playground, from where Rahul went missing, has been closed down long since and the entire area of Ashramam Ward has been revamped. “Despite all efforts, the boy remains untraced and no evidence has come forth against the accused Rojo George,” the CBI stated.
Rahul, son of Mini and Raju, went missing on May 18, 2005, when he was playing cricket with his friends near his house at Asanparambu playground in Ashramam Ward. He was wearing a one-sovereign gold chain, shorts and a check shirt.
After preliminary inquiry conducted by the local police, the probe was taken over by the Crime Branch. The CB probe moved towards the suspected involvement of Rahul’s neighbour Rojo George. Though Rojo underwent a polygraph test, no leads emerged. Following a High Court order, the CBI took over the inquiry on June 14, 2005. The state government and the CBI had each announced a reward of `50,000 for those who could provide any information which could help trace the boy. Eventually, the CBI had approached the Ernakulam CJM Court in 2009, 2012 and 2013, seeking permission to wind up the investigation, but the court had rejected the petition.
‘Living on Hope’
A despondent Raju, Rahul’s father, has said that they can do nothing except hope that their son is still alive. He suspects that some international kidnapping racket is involved in the case and his son might have been abducted and taken to some place outside the country.
“What can we do other than hope that he is still alive? Last year, after a phone call that Rahul was seen in Mumbai, I went there and stayed for three months searching for him. I don’t suspect any of our neighbours. Some international gang has taken him to a foreign land,” he said. He said that he will consult his counsel on what can been done in the wake of the CBI’s closure petition. “I have not decided about appealing. I would talk to my counsel and decide soon,” he said.