THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Search operations under the aegis of the Indian Navy and the Air Force to trace the missing Latvian national Liga Skromane began in the sea off Kovalam coast on Sunday. According to the police, Southern Naval command mobilised Gemini inflatable boats, underwater sonar and five deep-sea divers for underwater search operations. A special aircraft AN32 also reached the city at noon to carry out the search operations. The coastal police have been entrusted to oversee the search operations.
Control room ACP V Suresh Kumar told Express the search operations have begun to trace whether Liga went missing in the sea. He said the search operations at resorts and homestays are also being taken place simultaneously. “Efforts are on to trace Liga. We can’t confirm whether she had gone missing in the sea. But we are weighing every possibility. We haven’t got any lead in the past two weeks. So, we sought the assistance of the Navy and the Air Force as part of strengthening search operations,” Suresh said. The Special Investigation Team decided to conduct a search in the sea following suspicion that Liga might have committed suicide. Liga is suffering from post-traumatic depression. Besides, she had earlier attempted suicide twice.
Last week, a special team was sent to Gokarna in Karnataka following reports that she was found there along with another tourist. However, they did not find her. Liga went missing from Kovalam on March 14 after she reached the beach leaving from an Ayurveda healing centre at Pothencode. For the past two weeks, a joint search operation of the city shadow and the rural police was being conducted at the resorts and homestays at Kovalam, Vizhinjam, and Poovar. Two weeks ago, state police chief Loknath Behera constituted a Special Investigation Team to search Liga. The DGP also announced a reward of `2 lakh for those who trace her. Earlier, Ilze Skromane, the younger sister of the missing tourist, had also announced a reward of `1 lakh.