Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel deployed on the Konkan Railway reunited a 14-year-old runaway schoolboy with his family, an official said on Wednesday.
Akash, a Class IX student from Karnataka’s Kundapura town, was found loitering in a general coach of Poorna Express by some RPF constables during a security drive last week.
“The RPF was busy flushing out eunuchs when they saw the boy wearing his school uniform and loitering and they questioned him,” said the official.
Akash gave some vague replies which the RPF personnel suspected were false and they deboarded him.
At an RPF outpost later, the boy confessed to constables S. Gaonkar and K. Praveen that he had run away from home allegedly to escape harassment at the hands of his father.
“The boy said that he went as usual on his bicycle to school, boarded a train for Mumbai and then planned to go to his relatives’ home in West Bengal,” the official said.
Kundapura is a picturesque coastal town in Karnataka, around 740 km south of Mumbai.
The RPF summoned Akash’s parents, who came immediately to pick him up. His shocked father said he worked as a driver in the Gulf and had come home for holidays.
When the father came to know that Akash was not studying well, he scolded him and imposed restrictions on his extra-curricular activities so he could concentrate more on studies.
Apparently upset by this, the boy ran away from home, the official said.
Despite counselling by constables Gaonkar and Praveen, Akash was reluctant to return home following which they called Radhakrishnan Bhat of the Parents Association of Schools, Bhatkal area.
Bhat managed to convince Akash who agreed to return home and promised that he would not run away again.