Where is Kislay??

Dear Friends

Many of you must have already read in newspapers or seen in TV news reports involving the kidnapping of a 14-year old schoolboy Kislay Komal in Patna.

Before I get into the facts of the case, I wish to put it on record that I am neither related to Kislays family nor am I affiliated to any political or voluntary group.

I am a Bihari by birth and have been living outside Bihar as a media professional for the last seven years.

The facts of the case:

1. Kislay, the son of a sales tax officer K.K. Gupta, was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen from Patel Nagar locality under Shastri Nagar police station in the state capital Patna on Jan 19, 2005.

2. Kislay is a student of the Patna chapter of Delhi Public School.

3. School students, mostly belonging to the 10-17 years age group, in an unprecedented move, have come out on the streets of lawless Patna and have started a public movement of sorts against this latest case of kidnapping.

4. Many tiny tots have decided to go to schools without their lunch boxes as a mark of protest against Kislays kidnapping.

5. When a handful of Kislays colleagues tried to approach the Union Railway Minister and husband of Bihar Chief Minister Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav to request him to take urgent measures for the safe release of Kislay, the latter conveniently chose to ignore them. The sobbing school kids could not make Yadav change or delay his important election campaigning schedule.

6. All the private schools in Patna, numbering some 1,700, remained closed on Monday, Jan 24, as a mark of protest against the state governments and police authorities inaction in bringing back Kislay.

7. Many of the school going kids in Patna, cutting across caste, creed, religion, and social standing, have decided to start a relay fast soon till Kislay is released.

8. The school kids have urged President APJ Abdul Kalam to visit Patna, even just for a few minutes, to hear their vows and prevail upon the authorities concerned for the safe release of Kislay.

9. While tears roll down the cheeks of hapless parents, relatives, and friends of Kislay who continues to be in the captivity of kidnappers on Monday, Jan 24 (IST 5.00 p.m.) all political parties are busy with their campaigning for the assembly election, to be held in Bihar in the first week of February.

This petition seeks to not just gather support for Kislays immediate release - but also to raise the awareness of all the concerned citizens of this country especially non-resident Biharis against the gradual collapse of all civic rules in Bihar.

A. Kidnapping for extortion is nothing new for Bihar or any other parts of the country. But does that mean we will continue to sit quietly and adopt a nonchalant attitude towards the proliferation of the jungle raj?

B. How would have we reacted if Kislay was our cousin, nephew, son, brother, or friend? Are we doing any good to ourselves or our place of birth or our society by competely ignoring cases like the kidnapping of Kislay? Can we be sure that nothing like these would happen to our near and dear ones we have left behind in Bihar?

C. Shouldnt we reach out to the school kids in Patna, just to reassure them that they are not alone in their movement against the kidnapping of Kislay? Wont their morale receive a major boost if they realise that all of us are willing to stand firmly behind them?

D. Shouldnt all of us, the non-resident Biharis, join hands and explore a way to ensure that events like this do not happen again in any parts of the state? Cant we assure all the school children in Bihar that once they step out of their homes, no one would be roaming around on the streets to snatch them away from their near and dear ones?

E. Cant we reassure the parents in Bihar that they need not get panicky if their kids dont reach school on time or dont return home on time?

F. Shouldnt we ask all the concerned authorities in Bihar whether they would have reacted with the same degree of calouness as they have done in Kislays case, if Kislay was their son or cousin or nephew?

G. How long, just how long all of us, non-resident Biharis, can prefer to ignore the brazen display of muscle and money power by a handful of people in Bihar?

H. Isnt it the high time we show some signs of commitment towards the state where we were born, grew up and got our education that has helped us stand in good sted in todays globalised world?

Please feel free to post your comments and opinions about this petition that seeks to create a network among the non-resident Biharis to explore the possibility of heralding a change and stem further degradation of the wonderful state called Bihar.

Please onpass this petition to all your friends, and near and dear ones, especially non-resident Biharis. The time has come to launch a public movement against the pathetic state of affairs in Bihar.

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