THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Thiruvananthapuram rural police district witnessed the maximum number of man-missing cases in the state in 2018. A total of 1,258 people went missing last year, out of which 133 people still remain untraceable. Those who still remain undetected comprise 90 men, 40 women and three children.
In total, 277 men, 791 women and 190 children were reported missing from the police district. Rural SP P Asok Kumar said the spurt in missing cases has come to their attention and most of the cases were related to lovers eloping without parental consent. "Every day, we get four to five cases of women and girls eloping. This becomes a huge number in a year," he said.
Crime Branch DySP D Asokan, who is the district nodal officer of the special cell dealing with missing cases, said the cases involving children and women are dealt with more seriously. "Among the men who disappear, most tend to return some time later. But the return would not be intimated to the police. So in police records, such people are still marked undetected. Not knowing they have returned, we reopen the files to get to know later that they are already back," he said.
He also said love affairs often result in women leaving their houses with lovers and the families report it as a case of man missing. "Such complaints reach the police late. The families will sit on such issues and will inform us after a period. Investigating then would be a tough job for us. If they had intimated earlier, there would have been no need to put FIRs and there would not be any cases. Those missing could easily be found," he said.
There have been several cases were married women ditch their husbands to elope with their lovers. A pattern that came to the police's attention was that wives of heavy drunkards often prefer to leave behind their husbands and move away with lovers. "There is a definite trend in this direction. These women have faced brutality in the hands of their husbands. After a while, they decide that enough is enough. When they gradually meet someone who is more gentle and responsible, these women tend to settle down with them. Such cases are increasing," Ashokan said.
In the case of children, many of them flee their homes with lovers while some of them who fail in school also take the same escape route."After the month of March, there was a pattern that was palpable. Some of the children who failed in exams tend to flee their houses," Asokan said.
However, he brushed aside apprehensions that the children might have fallen victims of trafficking or any other heinous crimes. "We checked thoroughly and there have been no such issues," Asokan added.
Man missing cases
In 2018, 277 men, 791 women and 190 children were reported missing
Of these, 90 men, 40 women and three children remain untraceable
According to the Rural SP, no children among those reported missing were subjected to heinous crimes