No trace of boy who ‘slipped into’ drain on Aug 29

Zain, who was living in Arafath Nagar, Goripalya, with his mother Gulshan, had stepped out to throw garbage near the drain on August 29 along with a nine-year-old girl, his neighbour. 

There’s no trace of the five-year-old boy who’s suspected to have been washed away in a stormwater drain in western Bengaluru on Thursday. 

Officials from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the police and the department of fire and emergency services have been searching for Mohammed Zain in the drain for the past two days. 

Zain, who was living in Arafath Nagar, Goripalya, with his mother Gulshan, had stepped out to throw garbage near the drain on August 29 along with a nine-year-old girl, his neighbour. 

He reportedly slipped and fell into the drain around 10 pm, according to the JJ Nagar police. The worried mother filed a police complaint on September 1, saying her son was playing outside the home and had disappeared suddenly. She said that when she came out after some time, she did not find him. She suspected that he was kidnapped. Gulshan’s husband, Imran Shariff, died four months ago. 

100 men at work

Authorities swung into action and reviewed the CCTV footage of the place. The girl said Zain had fallen into the drain. The rescue operation began. Officials started from the drain that runs from Goripalya towards Kengeri. More than 100 personnel were involved in the search operation. 

‘Girl the only eyewitness’

Venkataswamy, a fire and emergency services officer, said the search operation began on Monday, three days after the incident. Nobody other than the girl saw the boy falling into the drain. “We searched for the boy for six kilometres until Nayandahalli in a boat and also carried out a manual search but there was no trace of him,” he added. 

Manjunath S, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Kengeri subdivision, said the CCTV footage showed Zain and the girl going together but only the girl returned. It's unclear what happened to the boy, he added. 

‘Request for wall ignored’

Local residents staged a protest against the BBMP, saying it ignored their representations for constructing a compound wall around the stormwater drain. 

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