The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Trauma moans shatter sleep
- Sedated teen gives cops no clues on absence

'You want to hurt me' Go ahead, I don't care. I can suffer every blow. God will save me!'

Anguished words uttered by Utsab Manna, disoriented and traumatised.

The 16-year-old disappeared on Sunday and surfaced on the streets a day later, wounded and naked. He is back home but heavily sedated and can hardly speak.

His silences are only punctuated by his mumbles, as if reliving hours of horror.

Police have no idea how Utsab left his Behala home late on Saturday undetected, what he has been through, how he had lost his clothes or how he was injured.

'So far, we have no leads on his whereabouts during the period that he was missing,' admitted S.N. Gupta, superintendent of police, South 24-Parganas.

'We will have to wait till he recovers enough for us to record his statement. If it turns out that he was abducted, we will take action,' he added.

The ICSE candidate from MP Birla Foundation School was last seen on Saturday night, when he was going to bed.

On Sunday morning, when Utsab's mother Tapati went in to wake him up, her only son was missing.

On Monday morning, Utsab was seen wandering aimlessly off VIP Road. He was naked, bruised and covered in dirt and grime.

A taxi driver, Dinesh Prasad, spotted Utsab and took him home after asking residents of the area for clothes for the distressed boy.

Utsab managed to tell the taxi driver where he lived and even directed him home from the Behala tram depot.

While Utsab was being helped out of the taxi in front of his house on Monday, his relatives failed to recognise him, with his face smeared with grease.

When they realised who he was, they rushed to greet him.

Utsab's reaction to the sudden flurry of activity came as a shock.

The teenager clenched his fists and gritted his teeth, almost as if he was being attacked and was gearing up to defend himself.

When the doctor was examining him, using a torch to check his pupils, Utsab said: 'You can throw as much light at me, but I am not scared.'

On Tuesday, his family was relieved to have him back ' safe if not sound.

'He is sleeping now, so he is calm. Every time he wakes up, he seems to be transported back in time, and imagines he is reliving his ordeal,' said Mukul Manna, Utsab's father.

According to the boy's father, Utsab had Rs 30 in his wallet when he went missing.

'It is possible some criminals ambushed him and stole his money and clothes. He could have been injured while he was fleeing from them,' said Mukul.

'We don't know what lies in store for him. We only hope he returns to his normal self at the earliest, and resumes his studies,' prayed mother Tapati.

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