On 23rd September 2018, my brother Shubham Mehta left home to get some peace of mind, to get away from his struggles of living with depression.
He did not take his phone, credit cards or any other item with him. It was as if he just wanted to disappear for some time. We waited the entire day; it was raining outside, and our hearts were sinking. We lodged an FIR the next morning, at the local police station (Shivala, Amritsar). The police assured us that they had spread the word in all the nearby police stations. Since then, they have not even checked CCTV cameras near our house, at the nearby bus stand or railway station; my father did all of that and reported to the police that my brother was last seen near the bus stand. Not entering it or boarding any bus – just standing near the bus stand entrance.
The police still did nothing. We met the DCP as well, and he also said that the required wireless had been done in Punjab and Chandigarh. I have been running to Chandigarh on foot to ask for help, and have finally found some support from Chandigarh and Panchkula police.
But, the police personnel back home have repeatedly been saying one thing after we told them my brother has depression, they say, “they can’t find someone who doesn’t want to be found” or “he will come back on his own”.
This is how lightly the police is taking the missing case of a person with mental health issues. Is having depression any less than being kidnapped or harassed? How the hell do I convince them that my brother can be in greater harm because of his state of mind? We have been trying to meet different people in the police and politics, but no one seems to know how to handle a missing person’s case. All of this makes me feel unsafe in this country now.
I am asking for help by sharing my post on WhatsApp and am getting responses such as “how can he get lost, he is a grown man!”, “is this is a fake post?” etc. This country and its people lack empathy, and they will never understand such a thing until it happens to them.
I request you guys to share this story as much as you can in the North Indian region, especially Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. It has been 18 days since my brother went missing. I hope someone spots him, I wish I could just run to him and hug him, and tell him that everything is going to be fine.
Here are my brother’s details:
Last seen in Amritsar
Wearing a red shirt, jeans and chappals
Please contact 9121167435 in case you spot him anywhere.