4 years on, search for Jesna continues; CBI clueless

A combo image of Jesna Maria. File Photo: Manoramaonline

Pathanamthitta: It has been a little over four years since Keralite college student Jesna Maria James went missing. The CBI took up the probe into the disappearance of Jesna, but even a year later no significant progress has been made.

Jesna, a native of Kollamula in Pathanamthitta district, was reported missing on March 22, 2018. Jesna was then a second-year student at the St Dominic's College in Kanjirapally. She had left her home four years ago to go to her paternal aunt's house at Mundakayam. Jesna did not return.

Though both the local police and the Crime Branch probed the case, the efforts went in vain. Amid this, several rumours were doing the rounds. The probe team carried out an extensive search across the region, including the forest areas, but little progress was made.

Jesna, who left for her relative's house at Mundakayam in the morning, is learned to have reached till Erumely. But after that, no one has seen Jesna. Initially, the probe was carried out by a special team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Thiruvalla. They searched for Jesna both within Kerala and in other states. The team also checked lakhs of phone calls with the help of cyber experts.

An enquiry made by the relatives found a CCTV image that showed Jesna sitting in a bus at Mundakayam. But the police have not been able to confirm whether that girl was indeed Jesna. Also, a girl who looked like Jesna was spotted in the CCTV footage from the Mundakayam bus stand. But the police could not trace this girl either.

Two years ago, after reports that Jesna was found, district police chief K G Simon had then visited Jesna's house at Vechoochira in Ranni. Though he refused to divulge any details on the progress of the probe, he indicated to the close relatives that they would not have to wait for long for a ‘positive’ news.

Following this, Crime Branch ADGP Tomin Thachankary revealed that he had received some information on Jesna. But even two years after this response, nothing happened. The SP of the local police had been given the additional charge of the Crime Branch SP and the probe conducted. Amid this, several agitations were held by various action committees.

Subsequently, the CBI took over the probe after a High Court order and filed the FIR in court. But the FIR filed by the CBI was similar to the one registered by the police. According to the FIR of the Kerala Police, Jesna could have been abducted by someone. The CBI too is mulling on carrying out a probe along the same lines. No one has been named in the list of accused.

The probe is likely to be extended to other states.

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