A Kochi man led the police, the fire brigade and the navy on a wild-goose chase in the backwaters for a full 24 hours. With Mishel Shaji’s case still fresh in memory, the personnel of all three forces were called in for a search operation on Tuesday afternoon after a report was received that a man had jumped off the Goshree bridge in Kochi. (Mishel Shaji, an 18-year-old girl had committed suicide recently).
Police identified the “missing” man as Vishnu, 21, from Vypeen, based on identification found in an abandoned bag found on the bridge. Since Vishnu was struggling with a few debts, his family and neighbours believed that he had decided to kill himself. They also told police that he was very distressed in the past few days.
The police quickly deployed search teams, and persistently carried on the search for 24 hours, until on Wednesdayafternoon, Vishnu turned up, quite alive and well, at his home.
Once Vishnu was taken into custody, the story unraveled before the police. The full details are yet to emerge, Njarackal Sub Inspector Rejish Kumar told The News Minute, that Vishnu seemed to be in a mentally unstable state when interrogated, and constantly changed his answers.
However, from what the police have been able to glean so far, Vishnu staged his own death. “He confessed to the police that he abandoned his bag in the bridge, and himself told the traffic warden standing near the bridge that he saw someone jumping in to the lake. Then the warden informed the police and the fire force. We searched for almost a whole day to find him,” SI Rejish said.
Rejish said that Vishnu was even watching the action, standing in the crowd that had gathered when the police, fire and navy personnel arrived. And when the crowd grew, he quietly made his escape.
At first, he tried to convince the police that he had indeed jumped into the water, and had swum out and admitted himself in the Medical Trust hospital. He had even called up a friend on Wednesday saying that he was admitted in the hospital to make his story more convincing. “But later, it was proved that whatever he said was fake. Then he agreed that he did not jump, though he went to the bridge to die,” the officer said.