Madikeri: Kushalappa and Meenakshi couple residing in Kaikeri village near Gonikoppal in Virajpet taluk of southern Kodagu have been in distress for the last eight years.
Their son Yashwant had joined the Cauvery Polytechnic in Gonikoppal and was pursuing Diploma studies in Electronics and Communication.
He ran short in class attendance and hence could not appear for the 4th semester examination. So his parents got him to join a six-month Electronics course in Jana Shikshana institution in 2006.
After completing the course in December 2006, Yashwant told his parents that he wanted to go to Bengaluru in search of a good job and hence he needed Rs 1,000. They arrived in person in Mysuru and paid him the money.
That was the last time they saw him. They lost contact with him and did not have any clues about his whereabouts sine then. They filed a ‘lost person’ complaint at the Krishnaraja police station in Mysuru. On their part, they continued their search making enquiries with friends and relatives based in different towns and cities, but it was of no avail.
Last year, Pakistan released a list of Indians detained there with their photographs. It also asked the Indian government to provide proof of citizenship so that it could hand over such persons to the latter”s custody.
Among them was one Ramesh, who had been reportedly arrested from a park in Lahore. But he had no arms or incriminating material on him. He only called himself Ramesh, an Indian.
In July 2014, the Mysuru police published these photographs in the local papers and sought information about them from the public. Recently, Yashwant’s relatives in Mysuru pointed out to his parents that Ramesh in the photos published in the parers closely resembled Yashwant. This kindled a hope in the minds of the parents over having their son back with them.
His mother Meenakshi concurs that the photo resembled that of their son. When he was doing his diploma course, he had suffered an electrical shock, as a result of which he got a black scar on his neck. The young man found in Pakistan too has a similar mark at the same spot.
From childhood, says Meenakshi further, he has had a lisping habit and when nervous, he would not talk at all. Ramesh also is reported to have avoided answering questions out of nervousness. More than all, the photographs have a very close similarity.
The parents are absolutely confident that Ramesh is their own son Yashwant. To verify or rule out the possibility, they have asked for an opportunity to meet the young man currently held in Pakistan.
They have submitted appeals to the state police officials and Union ministry of home affairts through Virajpet MLA and former assembly speaker K G Bopaiah and Union railway minister D V Sadananda Gowda. But they have not received any positive response.
They have demanded that he be brought back to India and also an inquiry be held as to how he landed in Pakistan.
This sounds like a story lifted straight from a Bollywood movie, e.g., people getting lost in the crowds, identity being established with the help of bodily scars, photos being accidentally noticed and the like. There are several angles to the story.
1. How did Yashwant suddenly disappear from Mysuru? Did he land in the hands of anti-social or anti-national hands?
2. Did he stray into Pakistan territory in error, and if so how did he reach the Pak border and for what purpose?
3. If he cannot remember his name as Yashwant, has he developed symptoms of amnesia, and if so, what caused it?
4. If he is the real Yashwant, given his present health and mental condition, will he connect himself with his parents or will he need any medical or psychiatric treatment?
5. If he indeed is a different person called Ramesh hailing from elsewhere, where is the real Yashwant then?
If an investigation is ordered, the officials drafted for the purpose may have a tough job on hand.