Bangalore, Jan. 12: Souvik Pal’s parents are still waiting for news of their son.
The 19-year-old from Bangalore, reported missing from Manchester on New Year’s Eve, last spoke to his mother before setting out for a nightclub with friends. Twelve days on, his family is frantically looking for clues with the help of Manchester City Police.
“I am very worried about my son, although I hope for the best,” the boy’s father, Santanu Pal, told The Telegraph today from Manchester, where Souvik had enrolled as an undergraduate student in product design at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Souvik, who earlier studied in Bangalore, had joined the course in September last year.
Pal, who is originally from Bengal but now works in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has got in touch with the Indian consulate in Birmingham, but there has been no breakthrough yet. “The only clue is the CCTV footage the police are now in possession of. Otherwise, no one has any clue,” he said.
Souvik, who was accompanied by five friends, including two girls, was apparently at the nightclub till he visited the washroom around 10.30pm.
After he had excused himself to go to the washroom, he made a phone call to one of his friends around 11pm, saying he had been evicted from the club and was heading for his apartment.
The reason for the eviction is not known, although it is suspected it was racially motivated.
His friends, who reached the apartment, waited for Souvik till 5.30am and then informed the police, who swung into action, including the usual rounds at hospitals. They found a CCTV footage of the boy walking towards Manchester United Stadium. Souvik was familiar with the stadium where he did some voluntary work.
“But the CCTV didn’t have anything besides that, although the police are looking into other feeds from nearby cameras,” Pal said.
He said the last call Souvik made to his mother was on New Year’s Eve. Mahuya Pal, who lives in Bangalore, has written to external affairs minister Salman Khurshid and Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for help to trace her son.
Pal said his wife got a call at 7pm on January 2 that their son was missing. “I just postponed my return journey booked for January 15,” he said, adding that he plans to stay on in Britain till he finds Souvik.
Pal, who reached Manchester last Sunday, is in touch with the city police, the Indian Association there and also the local taxi drivers’ organisation, which has offered to help.
“I had lengthy talks with his flat-mates, classmates and even his professors, but nobody has any inkling where he might be. His teachers just said he was a brilliant student,” Pal said.
“I believe in hope,” he added. “And I just hope things will end well and I will find my son in good health.”