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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Scout found dead in pond

Calcutta, Jan. 14: Six days after Anil Harishchandra went missing, the 15-year-old Scout’s father and uncles identified his body from a mole on the right ankle, a cut under the right eye and a locket around his neck that had three knots and pictures of Sai Baba and Santoshi Maa on it.

The body was fished out from a pond close to an engineering college in Salt Lake, across the road from the site of the Scout camp the Mumbai boy had come to attend.

“Around noon on Saturday we found something like a human body floating in the pond. We alerted the police. The body was badly decomposed and the face was bitten beyond recognition, probably by fish,” said Liton Bagchi, a resident of the area.

Anil’s family in Dadar was informed and father Harishchandra Gupta and two uncles rushed down.

The Class IX student, the eldest of three brothers and one sister, was among 16,000 boys and girls who had come for a six-day Special National Jamboree of the Bharat Scouts and Guides. He went missing on Monday.

“All our activities were over by January 7. On January 8 we had our meal at noon. After that nobody saw Anil,” said Nalwadi, the district training camp in-charge (Mumbai).

Some witnesses said Anil was last spotted in front of a retail store in Baguiati.

“Anil would always take his bath before he ate so there was no question of his taking a dip in the pond after his meal,” his uncle Shiv Shankar Gupta said. Anil’s father, who owns a chaat centre, was quiet.

Anil could not swim but locals said the pond was not deep and if someone fell into it, they could wade out.

“When the body was recovered it had only a blue undergarment on it,” said North 24-Parganas superintendent Praveen Kumar.

On January 12, The Telegraph had reported the disappearance of Anil.

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