VISAKHAPATNAM: Despite the massive search operations undertaken by the GVMC, Navy, Fire, Police personnel and fishermen, Athidi was to be traced nowhere even Sunday. It is now three-and-a-half days since Athidi with the search teams having made no progress whatsoever. The police are questioning eyewitnesses and are also not ruling out chances of kidnap.
As part of the intensified search, the Navy officials pressed one more chopper into service, besides two Naval ships and two Gemini boats. As many as 12 naval deep sea divers were in action searching in a radius of five nautical miles, while the two helicopters have been scouring the stretch from Bheemili to RK Beach. Fifteen fishing boats, designer boats from Fire and Police have also been pressed into service, but there was no hint of the little girl at the end of the day, when last reports came in.
Municipal commissioner J Pravin Kumar said that they would be conducting searches in the drains from the major canal at Lawson’s Bay beach towards MVP Colony and other drains again Monday morning. Navy officials suspect that the girl might have reached the shore long ago and got stuck somewhere. However, the local fishermen say that it has been over three days and if Athidi had drowned as suspected, her body would have reached the surface by now.
Abduction Idea Gains Currency
The idea that Athidi may have been kidnapped gained currency Sunday as Athidi could not be traced even after three days of intensive search. The police are looking into that angle now, even as reports surfaced that police commissioner Amit Garg personally interrogated car driver Raghunadh, the only witness in the case. The police will be interrogating him again if necessary.
Athidi has been staying with her maternal grandparents, and her parents - C Srinivas and Radhika - work in Bangalore in an IT firm. Athidi used to go to school and tuition daily with one of her friends by car with Raghunadh at the wheel.