Months after Kerala couple went missing, police bring in private firm for search

An agency named Inter Dive, which specialises in underwater searches, is joining the effort to trace the missing couple.
Months after Kerala couple went missing, police bring in private firm for search
Months after Kerala couple went missing, police bring in private firm for search
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Almost seven months after a couple from Kottayam district went missing, the police have now brought in a private investigative firm to intensify the search.

An agency named Inter Dive, based on Kochi, which specialises in advanced techniques for searching underwater, will be joining the search for the missing couple.

Hashim (42) and his wife Habeeba (37) left their home at around 9pm on April 6 in their recently-bought grey Wagon R car. They told their two children – 8-year-old Fida and 13-year-old Bilal – that they were going out to buy food from an eatery nearby, and left the children in the care of Hashim's father Abdul Khader. However, the couple never returned home.

Though the police launched a wide search, and even the Navy got involved in the search of water bodies nearby, no trace of the couple was ever found.

On Sunday, Kottayam SP VM Muhammed Rafeeq told mediapersons that, based on the information gathered thus far, the possibility of suicide could not be ruled out.

“Both of them have left their mobile phones, purse and identity cards at home. Usually, in all cases, police track people using their phones. But they were left behind at home. This points to the possibility of suicide,” the SP said.

However, he added that the police was still considering other possibilities.  “For Hashim, driving was a craze and we are also enquiring about the possibility of an accident,” he said, adding that the police is checking into the possibility of the car having rolled down a hilly area or having fallen into a deep water body.

The SP also told TNM that Hashim was found to have visited Peerimedu in Idukki district a day before the couple went missing.

“On April 5, Hashim had driven his car alone to Peerimedu, about 80km from his house. He also lied to relatives who called him, saying that he was in Kottayam itself,” the officer said. Based on this information, the police have extended the search to Peerumedu.

According to the Kottayam West Circle Inspector Nirmal Bose, the police have spared no effort in searching for the missing couple so far. “We have searched every water source in and around Kottayam with the help of expert divers. We have also served look out notice all over Kerala and in neighbouring states, and also held searches at pilgrimage centres. We have also searched the Idukki high ranges but we have to intensify the search there. We have also checked if his car was registered anywhere in Kerala or the neighbouring states,” said Nirmal Bose.

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