KOLKATA: How far can you go to search for your missing wife? A daily wage labourer from Jharkhand pedalled his bicycle through 65 villages in East Singhbhum district to trace his mentally-unstable wife of 16 years. He finally found her off National Highway 6 near Kharagpur in Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal. Manohar Nayak of Baliyagoda village worked as a construction labourer in neighbouring Odisha.
He would leave his wife Anita and their 14-year-old son Kabirdas Nayak at her paternal house in Kumrasole village in the district. On January 11, Anita ventured out of her house but forgot her way back. She wandered for over 120 km along National Highway 6 towards Kolkata.
After getting the news that his wife was missing, Manohar quit his job in Odisha and filed two missing diaries at Musabani and Dumaria police stations near Kumrasole village. However, he didn’t wait just for the police to take action, and hit the streets on his bicycle with Anita’s photograph in hand. Technology-challenged Manohar couldn’t share Anita photograph on social media but got it published in local newspapers.
From the newspaper pictures, some people identified Anita at a dhaba near Kharagpur and handed her over to Kharagpur police station, who contacted their counterparts at Musabani police station. On receiving word that his wife had been found, Manohar pedalled from Ghatsila in East Singhbhum to Kharagpur and met his wife on Sunday evening.
“I was tired searching for her on my bicycle for the past one month but never lost hope. I am grateful to police of both the states. I now want to take her back home on my bicycle,” Manohar said with a choked voice.
“She could not say where she came from. Some locals who rescued her identified her through photographs on local media. We contacted the Jharkhand Police, and they confirmed it was the same woman who went missing on January 11 from Musabani police station area,” a senior official of the Kharagpur police station said.