Farmer, who went missing in Israel, not responding to calls or texts, says family

Farmer Biju Kurian (left) and the 27-member delegation from Kerala in Israel (right). Photo: Special Arrangement.

Kannur: The family of the Iritti-based farmer Biju Kurian, who went missing in Israel on February 17, said they have been trying to contact him regularly, but he has not responded to their calls or texts. Thursday was the last time he was online, they added.

His brother Benny said the family is in touch with Malayali groups in Israel and is trying to bring Biju back. "He hadn't shared any plans on not returning from Israel," said Benny. Paayam Agricultural Officer K J Rekha has filed her preliminary report regarding the incident, with the department. The report stated that Biju all rules and regulations were followed while selecting Biju for the trip.

Biju went to Israel with a 27-member delegation to study modern farming techniques. However, he went missing from the hotel where the delegates were put up on February 17.

Kerala asks the embassy to cancel his visa
Meanwhile, the Kerala government wrote to the Indian embassy in Israel to revoke Biju's visa.

The government will also seek his deportation to India at the earliest. The government has already requested the embassy to locate Biju. The entire delegation, except Biju, returned to Kerala on Monday.

Biju's wife said she got a message from him saying he was safe and that the family shouldn’t be looking for him. As per reports, Biju seemed aloof and kept his distance from the rest of the delegates since the beginning of the journey.

A planned operation
Authorities believe Biju left the team on purpose and that he planned to abscond from the group.

Biju's application was received online at the Krishi Bhavan in Payam on December 20, 2022. He was selected to be a part of the delegation after an officer of Krishi Bhavan conducted a site inspection and found that he met all the required parameters.

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