Stolen as infant, back as teen: Kashmiri twin's tale

Stolen as infant, back as teen: Kashmiri twin's tale

Separated from his twin brother at that time, Sarmad has made a tortuous and heart-rending journey back to his biological parents and the rest of his family 17 years later.

"My mother gave birth to twins in the hospital and the nurse assisting the childbirth sold me to a childless couple who paid her Rs.10,000," Sarmad told IANS.

"My mother insisted she had given birth to twins as her doctor had taken an ultrasound prior to admission in the hospital. The ultra sound had confirmed that my mother was bearing twins. But the attending nurse told her she had given birth to the baby boy who was in the cradle alongside her bed in the hospital", Sarmad said.

The teenager, who will appear for his Class 10 exams this year, has learnt this story just now after reuniting with his biological parents. His foster parents live in the old city area of summer capital Srinagar.

Back in 1994, in order to hide his place of birth and the actual date of birth, his foster parents recorded his date of birth in the school records as Oct 25, 1995, says Sarmad.

"Later my foster father fought with my foster mother and she had to leave her husband's family. She took me along to her parents' home where my foster grandfather brought me up with love and care.

"Everything was going smoothly till my foster grandfather died in 2004. My foster mother took me back to her husband's home where I found I was no longer welcome.
The foster father again quarrelled with my foster mother, telling her in no uncertain terms that I could not live with her if she wanted to make up with him.

" 'Go find your parents, you are not our blood' - these remarks from my foster parents struck me like a bolt from the blue," he said. The foster mother is, however, not living with the father but with her sister now, said Sarmad.

"I spent three days without food at a local mosque. Then a relative of my foster parents told me the names of my biological father and mother and also where they lived. I do not want to disclose the name of this relative who was like an angel in my life.

"I went there and my real mother did not take a second to recognise me - her maternal instinct worked," he said.

There he met his twin brother, who was first shocked and then embraced him. And, of course, they look similar. Besides, there are two other brothers as well.

Amina, 42, Sarmad's biological mother, said she had no doubt her lost son had come back. "I do not need any DNA test to recognize my blood. He was born to me and I know he is my son," she said, surcharged with emotion.

For legal reasons, Sarmad's biological father Muhammad Lateef said he would have the boy's DNA matched with himself and Amina.

"In future, the question of inheritance is going to rise. I don't want Sarmad to fight another battle with his three brothers. He has already suffered enough," Lateef told IANS.

The boy is happy to have got his real family back even though he still loves his foster mother. "Allah must have already ordained my fate. I am prepared for any medical examination, including the DNA test," he said.

Doctors at the maternity hospital simply refused to answer any questions in this regard. "These are just allegations without any proof. How do you expect me to react to something that happened here 17 years back?" said a doctor at the hospital who did not wish to be named.

Sarmad does not want to fight any legal battle against the hospital. "I want my story told so that no greedy nurse or doctor dare sell somebody's baby in future," he said without any anger in his voice.