Missing NRI student feared kidnapped

Missing NRI student feared kidnapped

The parents of an NRI student, who came to Bangalore on January 20 without their knowledge and went missing subsequently, fear he might have been kidnapped.

Sharang Bharadwaj’s family, hailing from Delhi but settled in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, says he was in Bangalore on January 20, about two weeks after he flew out of Canada to India without informing them.

Sharang is believed to have visited a cyber café on Goods Shed Road in Cottonpet where he logged onto his Gmail account. Besides, his mobile phone records indicate that he was in the City at that time. However, there has been no news about him ever since.

The only child of his parents, Sharang was pursuing undergraduate engineering in Mechatronics at the University of Waterloo in Canada for the last one-and-a-half years. His father Manoj Bharadwaj works with an MNC at Riyadh.

Sharang has been inaccessible from January 7; calls to his mobile phone were unanswered and there was no response to e-mails either.

Suspecting something amiss, his father called the Canadian police to check on Sharang. When the Canadian officials searched his apartment, almost all his belongings were intact but there was no trace of him.

Enquiries at the airport revealed that he had flown out to Mumbai on January 7. Further enquiries in Mumbai revealed that Sharang had taken a bus to Goa on the evening of January 10 and stayed at the A Canoa Hotel in Calangute. Manoj then reached Goa on the afternoon of January 12, but was informed by the hotel management that his son went out in the morning but did not check out as his baggage was still in the room. The hotel charges, however, had been paid.

“The hotel staff deny anybody came to meet Sharang during his brief stay there. They say there was nothing suspicious about him,” Manoj told Deccan Herald.

The family then kept in touch with Sharang’s friends and got the password of his e-mail address which when tracked revealed that it was last used from an IP address in Bangalore on January 20.

Manoj’s brother Umesh then came to Bangalore. The owner of the cyber cafe in Cottonpet recognised Sharang from his photograph but said he had given a different name (Sameer) in the register. Sharang had not produced any ID proof as required.

Manoj stayed in Goa for about three weeks and lodged a missing person’s complaint with the jurisdictional police. But there has been no news about Sharang.

Manoj said that the kidnappers, if any, had not called him yet. Bangalore police said although no complaint had been lodged here, efforts were on to trace him.

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