HYDERABAD: Family members of Vaindam, a software engineer who was caught by Pakistani police in Bahawalpur, Punjab were relieved to see him alive 31 months after he went missing from Hyderabad. According to the family, Prashanth is a lovelorn wanderer, not a spy.
After learning that Prashanth, 30, was in Pakistan police custody, the family is now hoping that they will soon get to meet him with help from the ministry of external affairs.
Prashanth was caught, along with a man from Madhya Pradesh, by Pakistani police from the Cholistan Desert, adjoining Rajasthan’sThar Desert. He finished his computer engineering from Visakhapatnam in 2010 and then worked for Chinese MNC, Huawei Technologies India, in Bengaluru.
He then joined another software firm, Shore Info Tech in Hyderabad in 2016. As part of work, he visited Hong Kong and Ivory Coast. When he went missing in 2017, Prashanth was working with Shore Info Tech in Madhapur.
Prashanth’s father Babu Rao Vaindam, said: “My son left for office on April 11, 2017, at 9 am, and never returned.” Based on a complaint lodged by Babu Rao, Madhapur police registered a missing case on April 29, 2017.
“After Prashanth went missing, we have not heard from him. We contacted his friends, colleagues and relatives. We have been in contact with the police, but they did not have any information about his whereabouts. After a gap of over 31 months, yesterday, we saw on TV channels that he was caught in Pakistan. We also saw the video of him talking in Telugu saying that he was arrested in Pakistan. Now, we know he is alive in Pakistan. We will contact the police and ministry of external affairs to get our son back,” Babu Rao said.
Police said they tried their best to trace Prashanth but in vain. “He turned his cellphone off and deactivated all social media accounts before disappearing. He has not contacted anyone since. So, our team could locate him despite looking at his phone call details,” Cyberabad commission, VC Sajjanar, said.
While some news reports in Pakistani media, quoting local law enforcement agencies, described Prashanth as an Indian spy, his family members called those reports baseless. “My son is a soft-natured gentleman,” Rao said. “He is not a spy, and he was not involved in any illegal activities. I do not know exactly how he ended up in Pakistan. I have seen in news reports that he was in love with some girl in Switzerland, and went looking for her. He had mentioned to us about a woman colleague whom he liked.”
Prashanth’s family includes his parents, elder brother Srikanth, who is married with two children. Long march for love from India to Switzerland.
According to Prashanth’s family, he was in love with a colleague, whom he had met in Bengaluru. "He had mentioned about the girl to his mother, but I was unaware about his liking," said Prashanth’s father, Babu Rao. "Later, I came to know that the girl he loved had moved to Switzerland. For some time, he was depressed but later came out of it. He started working normally. I suspect he went to Rajasthan border to go to Switzerland on foot."
Police suspect that to express his love to and win over the woman he loved, Prashant might have opted for the shortest walkable route to Switzerland from India via Pakistan, Iran and Turkey to enter Europe.
Prashant’s father, Babu Rao, said that 10 months ago, an unknown man visited their house in Visakhapatnam, enquiring about the details of his family and Prashanth. "After talking to us and gathering our details, the man said that Prashanth was in Pakistan. He did not provide us with his details. We thought he could be from RAW, but we are not sure. We were told that Prashanth was caught in Pakistan on April 14 or April 15, 2017, three or four days after he went missing from Hyderabad," Babu Rao said. However, Cyberabad commissioner VC Sajjanar said that there is no truth in reports that an intelligence agent visited Prashanth’s house.
Police inform Union govt about missing plaint.