| A woman grapples with a policeman trying to disperse crowds at Noida. Picture by Prem Singh
New Delhi, Dec. 30: Jhabu Lal’s worst fears came true when he was called to the police station last night to identify his missing daughter’s clothes from the heap of garments and other possessions recovered from D-5, Sector-31, Noida.
The search for eight-year-old Jyoti ended when her father found the pyjama she was wearing the day she disappeared.
Standing outside D-5 — right across the road from the kiosk where he and his wife iron clothes for a living — Jhabu broke down.
On June 21, 2005, he had sent Jyoti to get a chunni stitched from a tailor nearby. That was the last he saw his daughter. Son Rajesh said that when his sister was returning from the tailor’s shop, Surendra, the servant at D-5 who is now in police custody, called her to collect clothes for ironing. She never came back. Jhabu lodged a complaint with police but, as with many parents whose children went missing, no FIR was registered.
On Thursday night, he heard that a police team looking for another missing girl, Payal, had searched D-5 and found a piece of cloth and a pair of slippers. While the police did not make much of the find, Jhabu was suspicious.
Yesterday, he roped in friend Pappu Lal, whose daughter, too, had gone missing, and decided to search the house. Jhabu and Pappu, assisted by some others, broke through the iron grille and entered the backyard. While digging, Jhabu found a bone and then a skull, he said. “I immediately called the police.”
Late in the night, he was taken to the police station in Sector 49, where the case has been shifted, to identify his missing daughter’s clothes.
Earlier, the police lathicharged some parents who threatened to attack the police station and the D-5 house.