Sixty Kerala pilgrims go missing in the Vatican, but it isn't a cause for alarm
news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
Haritha John | The News Minute | December 4, 2014 | 1.58 pm IST The canonisation of St Chavara Kuriakose Elias and St Euphrasia at Vatican was a proud moment for believers in Kerala. Nearly 10,000 Keralites had travelled to the Vatican to witness the special occasion. After the canonisation was over came the news that out of 10,000 people who went to the Vatican, 60 Keralites are missing. So when Indians have gone missing, why has it not triggered any panic? Why is there no hue and cry about these people missing? Why is there no big diplomatic measure to trace them down? This is because, prima facie it looks like these people have gone missing deliberately, speculations rife that they have gone underground in search of jobs. Major travel agencies like Oasis Travels, Seagull Tours and Travels, Riya Travels and Intersight had taken people to the Vatican on this occasion.â€śWe took a 17-member group and five people went missing. We are planning to approach the police and already informed in Italian embassy,â€ť a representative of Mumbai-based Seagull Tours and Travels said. This has now become routine says another travel agency who did not wish to be quoted. "It is usual in Kerala that people take short term visas for something and then they simply disappear. Their families know it too. This is a sad reality." A source in Kerala Chief Minister's office when asked if the office received any complaints about people missing said, ""We havenâ€™t got any complaint. But isnâ€™t this what many people anyway do? They get visa for some purpose; they disappear, get jobs and try surviving 'illegally'. We are called in only when these people run into trouble. In spite of so many crackdowns, people just don't understand the peril of vanishing in another country." What makes the job theory stronger is that not a single family has registered a police complaint. Some media reports say that families of the missing persons denied the news and did not speak anything over the issue. Ernakulam Assistant Commissioner of Police R Nishandini told The News Minute that they have not received any complaint yet from the families of the missing persons.