The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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TV bares boy’s quake bluff
Yunus after his arrest. (PTI)

Srinagar, Jan. 27: A nine-year-old boy claiming to be a quake survivor from Muzaffarabad who wanted to make India his home has been found to be a fraud and a pickpocket.

Mohammad Yunus Mir had even found himself a foster father ' Abdul Rashid Dar, who saw the boy outside a mosque in Pampore, outside Srinagar, last week and took him home after hearing his sob story.

The boy told Rashid he was playing cricket in school when the earthquake struck on October 8. Having lost his family and home, he walked for two days with a group of friends who were going to their relatives in Uri on this side of the Line of Control. Then, he moved from shelter to shelter with other quake survivors before hitching a ride on a truck.

When Rashid took Yunus to Pampore police station to report his arrival, the boy repeated the story. While the police appealed to a local court to allow Rashid to keep the child, the media put him on prime time. The boy spoke of his home and family in Muzaffarabad and even remembered he was batting on 30 when the quake struck.

But the TV coverage did him in. A police officer from Srinagar saw the boy’s picture on TV and identified him as a resident of the city with six cases pending against him.

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