Alappuzha: The Kerala farmer, who went missing from a 27-member delegation that visited Israel to study new farming techniques, absconded on his own, putting the State Government in “crisis”, said Agriculture Minister P Prasad.
Meanwhile, the rest of the delegation, led by Agriculture Secretary B Ashok, reached Kerala today.
Biju Kurian, a 48-year-old farmer from Iritty, Kannur, has been reported missing from a hotel in Herzliya in Israel since the evening of February 17.
His wife got a message from him saying that he was safe and that the family shouldn’t be looking for him. The whole episode has brought embarrassment to the State Government.
“He went absconding on his own. He shouldn’t have done that ever. He has put the Government in a crisis through his act,” the minister said.
“His family member had called me and sought an apology. I’ve talked with his brother over the phone. We’ll be thinking of action once the delegation returns,” Prasad added.
The Kerala Agriculture department sent the farmers’ delegation to Israel with good intent and the members were selected after a detailed examination, the minister pointed out.
“We expected him to join back at least by Sunday morning. He is the father of two girl students. His absconding there is a well-planned act. I’m not aware of his meeting with any accident. We have lodged a complaint with the Israel authorities and the embassy,” the minister told the media.
Meanwhile, Biju contacted his family and told them he was safe and that they shouldn’t search for him. He sent the WhatsApp message to his wife at 10 am on Thursday. After this, he couldn’t be contacted over the phone, his brother Benny said. His family couldn’t yet fathom why he had decided not to come back to his native land.