Police to tell court that four out of six people missing from Isha foundation were traced

A police source told TNM that four missing persons were those who lost their way while trekking up the Vellaingiri hills- promoted by Jaggi Vasudev as the Kailash of the South.
Jaggi Vasudev
Jaggi Vasudev
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The Tamil Nadu police on Thursday, March 22, told a Madras High Court bench that six people have gone missing from the Isha Foundation in Coimbatore since 2016. The court was hearing a habeas corpus plea filed by a man whose brother has been missing for a year. However, a police source told TNM that five out of the six people were found. Four persons were tourists who had lost their way while trekking up the Velliangiri hills which is a part of the Western Ghats, in Coimbatore district. The fifth person was a woman, who was found dead in a well in January 2023. 

As per police records, Tiravuayya was the first person who went missing on July 19, 2016. He was found by the police on July 27, 2016. In 2017, 29-year-old Karthik went missing on February 24 and was eventually found on March 18. Ramesh Kumar, a 38-year-old man, went missing on April 6, 2019 and the police traced him one and a half years later, on November 27, 2020. In 2022, 23-year-old Aswin Ram went missing in the month of August and was found within a day. 

The police source told TNM, “All the four men were those who lost their way while trekking up the mountain. They would visit the Isha foundation to see the Adi Yogi statue and then start their trek. But their cases are not linked to the Isha foundation itself.” It may be noted that the Velliangiri hills have been promoted by Jaggi Vasudev, the founder of Isha Foundation, to be the Kailash of the South.

The fifth missing case was that of a 34-year-old woman Subashree. She went missing in December 2022 after attending a yoga class at Isha centre. The police found her body in a well in Semmedu, located five kilometres away from the yoga centre.

In March 2023, volunteers from Isha Yoga centre filed a complaint with the Alandurai police after one of the volunteers went missing. According to the First Information Report (FIR), Ganesan, who has been volunteering with Isha since 2007, was last seen at the Yoga centre on February 28, 2023. He reportedly took an auto that night and reached the Poondi temple located on the Velliangiri hills’ base and went missing. His family was alerted by the volunteers at Isha and Ganesan’s brother Thirumalai filed a habeas corpus plea before the Madras HC since Ganesan hasn’t been traced yet.

The police told TNM that special teams were deployed on the Velliangiri hills and that the other police stations located nearby were informed. However, they haven’t been able to trace Ganesan. 

As per the court’s directions, the Tamil Nadu police will file a report detailing the missing cases before the next hearing on April 8.

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