Cops fail to act promptly after disabled man in Chennai goes missing, later found dead

26-year-old M Praveen Kumar, an employee of Savera Hotels, who had learning disabilities, went missing from TTK Road in Chennai on 13 January at 7am.

Praveen and his mother were boarding a bus to his office when she noticed that her son had failed to get on to the bus. She rushed to the police and filed a missing persons complaint. She also made calls to the hotel where he worked as well as Vidyasagar, a school for special children. Both organisations sent volunteers to look for Praveen.

But the organisation that could have helped him the most, the police force allegedly failed to act on the case immediately. The next morning Praveen was killed when he was hit by a vehicle. He died on the spot. His body lay unidentified in the morgue for two days, even as the city continued to look for him.

His family says that the the police did absolutely nothing to look for Praveen initially. Praveen was intellectually disabled and could not have found his way back home. He was not capable of asking for help either but he could have answered questions. His family says that even if one policeman had stopped to ask him who he was, he could have given them enough details to be rescued.

Disabilities Rights Alliance has demanded an inquiry

His family says Praveen's death was not an accident but murder caused by the indifference of the police.

In a written complaint to the Chennai Commissioner of police, the Disabilities Rights Alliance has explained how the police failed Praveen.

The FIR for the missing case filed by his mother was not registered for over eight hours. Also the information was allegedly not passed on to police teams in the city regarding a missing person. So the first 24 hours that are crucial to finding a missing person, were not used.

They have demanded that the officers who handled this case must be suspended for their apathy.

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