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Saturday May 18, 2024

Priya Kumari’s parents observe third Holi without her

By Aftab Ahmed
March 24, 2024
Priya Kumari seen in this image. — Printed in the The News/File
Priya Kumari seen in this image. — Printed in the The News/File

HYDERABAD: Rajkumar and Veena Kumari have been looking for their daughter Priya Kumari during the festival of Holi, awaiting for someone to come to them and give them the good news that the little girl has been found.

Rajkumar told The News that a third Holi festival has arrived, but his daughter has not been found yet. On August 19, 2021, the Day of Ashura, like every year, Sabeels were set up in the Sanghrar village of the Saleh Pat Tehsil in District Sukkur, where Priya, 7, was also present, said the father.

He said that as the vicinity got crowded, Priya disappeared in front of his eyes, and they all kept looking for her. Two hours later, he added, he went to the Sanghrar police station and lodged an FIR of kidnapping against unidentified persons.

The Holi festival is being celebrated for a third time since then, but Priya’s parents still do not know where their daughter is. During this period, Rajkumar has shifted his family from Saleh Pat to a rented house in Sukkur due to security concerns and severely restricted communication.

The Sindh government has announced a reward of Rs5 million for anyone who can provide information about Priya that helps the police in the search for her recovery.

When the girl’s father was asked that the police had a case against his relatives some time ago, on which he had complained of non-cooperation, he said his brother Suresh Kumar and brother-in-law Aasan Malh had been kept in police custody for several days.

He also said he was taken to Lahore, but even after this, the police have not been able to find anything yet. He added that he had approached SSP Irfan Samoo and SSP Sanghar Malik several times to discuss his daughter’s recovery, but he had returned disappointed every time.

Priya’s father also complained that for the past one year it seems that the Sukkur police are not interested in the case, saying that they have not contacted the family or told them anything, meaning that the police are not investigating this case with seriousness.

“I don’t think that nomads have kidnapped Priya. Local people are involved, and nothing has been hidden from the police, but they are probably not serious about getting her back.”

The father pointed out that he also met with Sindh minister Nasir Shah in Sukkur and Karachi to help him recover his daughter, but he returned only with an assurance. The parents demanded that Sindh Assembly Speaker Owais Shah, and provincial ministers Nasir Shah and Khursheed Shah help them recover Priya because they have been elected from Sukkur, so they can put pressure on the police to take the case seriously.

Sukkur’s senior journalist Rasheed Raza told The News that the parents are disappointed that no one wants to help them, so they have stopped going to the police and elected representatives of Sukkur.

Raza said that since Priya’s kidnapping, several SSPs have been posted in Sukkur, but no one has been conducting regular investigations, if at all, for the recovery. These are delaying tactics that are being used until the public forgets about the case, he added.

A social media trend was also started on the occasion of Holi, in which the Sindh police and the provincial government have been censured, and they have been asked why incidents of kidnapping and killings are more rampant in upper Sindh.