A man from Tamil Nadu who was reported missing eight years ago after going on a pilgrimage was found wandering in a remote village in Nagaland and sent back home in Pudukkottai district. The person, identified as Kumaravel and aged around 50 years, reunited with his family on December 11 with the help of Nagaland police, Tamil Nadu police and the Nagaland Tamil Sangam.
Kumaravel’s rescue story goes back to November 5 when he was found at Bongkolong village under Athibung subdivision in Nagaland’s Peren district. According to Peren police, the village authority reported that an unknown non-local person was found roaming in the village and his identity could not be established as he did not speak English, Hindi or any local dialect. Subsequently, police personnel went to the village and brought him to Athibung police station where they arranged an interpreter to communicate with him.
After Peren police could establish his identity and address, official communication was made to Pudukkottai district police in Tamil Nadu and it was ascertained that Kumaravel was reported lost eight years ago. Upon acquiring his basic details, he was stated to have been moved to ‘House of Friendship’, an old age home in Dimapur (Nagaland), where he was lodged for a month till necessary arrangements were made to send him home.
With the coordination of the police of both the states, along with the Nagaland Tamil Sangam, Kumaravel finally reunited with his family after almost a decade. He was accompanied by Tamil Sangam advisor, Kannan from Dimapur to Chennai on December 11, where a special team of the Pudukkottai district police received him and took him home.
When contacted telephonically, Kannan on Monday informed that Kumaravel has reached home safely after a tearful reunion with his brothers and other family members at Chennai airport.
“He (Kumaravel) is from a very modest background. We came to know that he went to Palani for pilgrimage eight years ago where he got lost,” Kannan said. Kumaravel stated to have narrated that he got on a train and travelled on and on as he did not know which station he was supposed to get down at until he reached Andhra Pradesh.
He reportedly worked briefly at a house there before travelling on foot and hitching rides on trucks for months without knowing which direction he was headed to. Kannan said it could be during the nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic when Kumaravel probably walked for months and ended up in Nagaland.
“He said he forgot day and night and lost track of time, travelling by foot and hitching rides trying to get home,” Kannan stated. While expressing sadness that a person had to go through such an ordeal mainly due to his inability to communicate with others in a common language. Kannan said the Tamil Sangam Dimapur was happy that Kumaravel was finally home with people who know and care for him.
Meanwhile, Peren police in Nagaland expressed appreciation to Bongkolong villagers for promptly reporting the matter, and also acknowledged the ‘House of Friendship’ old age home in Dimapur for sheltering Kumaravel for about one month, and the Nagaland Tamil Sangam for generously sponsoring his flight ticket upon learning his family’s financial inability to make the required arrangements for his return.
“We also appreciate the Tamil Nadu police for assisting the process and making all necessary arrangements to receive the individual and reuniting him with his family members,” a Peren police official said.