One month after TN Express blaze, father still looks for son

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Seventeen-year-old Jaswant Singh remains missing after his S-11 coach in Tamil Nadu Express went up in a blaze in the early hours of July 30.

Finding that none of the 28 charred bodies recovered in the coach matched his son’s physique, father Ravinder Singh along with some relatives from native Malout in Punjab has been camping here in the hope of locating the boy.

He says he is encouraged by the advice given by an astrologer back home to look for Jaswant near a peepal tree close to a temple by a river bank—the description matches the famous anganathaswamy temple on the banks of Pennar River in Nellore. The astrologer has said that the boy is roaming around the town in a state of shock.

Besides, there are some scientific leads and eyewitness accounts. Police rummaging the charred coach picked up Jaspal’s purse intact with Rs 1850 in cash and an ATM card.

His family found the boy’s phone ringing till the afternoon of July 30. Father Ravinder Singh has taken help from the Sikh community in Nellore to print several pamphlets with Jaswant’s picture and an appeal in Telugu asking if anyone has seen him.

After DC carried the report and the boy’s picture on Sunday, several persons contacted the police claiming they saw someone closely resembling Jaswant, though with his hair let loose.

A priest at the temple said he had seen a youth matching the photo in the pamphlets while distributing food to the poor at least twice last week.

Some vendors and beggars too remember seeing someone like Jaswant. One of them said the youth spoke in Hindi and replied, ‘Bhagwan’, when asked for his name.

Needless to say the father’s hope has soared. “Many have said they have seen someone closely resembling Jaswant. I will find my boy”, he told DC.

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