Thiruananthapuram, Feb 19 (BPNS)
A farmer from Kerala, who reached Israel as part of a state government delegation to study the latest techniques of farming in Israel was missing since February 17. Biju Kurien (42), from Iritti in Kannur district of Kerala, was part of a delegation of 27 farmers led by state agriculture secretary, B. Ashok IAS has reportedly contacted his wife and informed her that he was safe and to look for him.
The farmer was selected for the Israeli trip as part of the state government programme after qualifying in an online selection process. Sources in the state government told BPNS that he seems to have gone underground in Israel where a large Keralite population was living doing work like home care and nursing.
Biju Kurien had paid for his to and fro air ticket to Israel but he got the Visa due to a recommendation from the state government. Getting an Israeli visa is a tough proposition and once has arrived in that country, he has gone underground. Sources in the immigration department told BPNS that he would have gone underground to resurface later after his Visa expires in May and then apply to the Human Rights body in Israel to continue his stay and there are lawyers who can support such an application.
The Kerala agriculture department officials who contacted the brother of Biju Kurien were informed that he had contacted his wife and later the phone was switched off. Sources in the delegation who was with Biju told BPNS that he was regularly calling his friends and acquaintances in Isreal and would probably have got shelter with some of them.
The Kerala delegation complained to the Indian embassy in Israel and the police officers from Israel commenced a probe by reaching his hotel room.
The delegation will be returning back to India today without Biju Kurien.