Missing kabaddi player turns up in Montreal

Liakat Ali was reported missing from Abbotsford in August.

Liakat Ali

Liakat Ali

An athlete from India who was reported missing from Abbotsford in August has turned up in Montreal.

Const. Ian MacDonald said the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) was notified on Sept. 12 by immigration officials in Quebec that Liakat Ali had contacted them.

“I believe his purpose is going to be more to deal with his status in Canada, rather than (addressing) our missing-person file,” MacDonald said.

He said the APD has not yet had an opportunity to interview Ali to determine how and why he made his way to Montreal.

Ali was being paid to participate in a number of kabaddi tournaments across Canada over the summer until his anticipated return to India at the end of this month.

Kabaddi is a South Asian team sport, played without protective padding and usually in bare feet, where points are scored by tackling members of the opposing squad.

He had already played five of the 10 tournaments in which he had been scheduled. On Aug. 9, he was staying in Edmonton when arrangements were made for him to travel to Abbotsford for his first B.C. tournament.

On the way there, however, the driver’s vehicle broke down near Kamloops, and a commercial transport driver was asked if he could take Ali to Abbotsford.

Ali was dropped off at Mt. Lehman Road and Fraser Highway on Aug. 10, and the truck driver reported seeing him get into a pickup truck driven by a South Asian man with a turban.

Ali did not show up for the kabbadi tournament and was not seen or heard from by his contacts in Canada.

Abbotsford Police issued a public plea to try to track down Ali and confirm that he was OK.

MacDonald said Ali played some kabaddi tournaments in Canada last year, and returned home to India without any issues.

“Whether he made some connections to Montreal (at that time), I’m not sure,” he said.