Mystery deepens over fate of 230 migrants headed to New Zealand
New Delhi : Mystery over ill-fated 230 migrants who had left India for New Zealand on January 11 has deepened after new abandoned bags have been recovered by the police.
On January 11, the cops had recovered 50 abandoned bags from Kodungallur temple in Thrissur district; now, they have found more bags at the Munambam harbour near Kochi, deepening the mystery about their whereabouts. They now fear that the bags — with clothes, ID proofs and other documents — belonged to 230 people.
Police sources confirmed Indian Express that the boat left from Munambam harbour in the early hours of January 12. The fate of the passengers on board, among them over a hundred women, children and the elderly — mostly from Delhi and Tamil Nadu — remains uncertain.
On Saturday, the cops had arrested a 29-year-old man assuming that he is associated with the kingpins of the illegal migration racket — Srikanth, the owner of the boat, Ravindra and Shantha Kumar. The three accused men are at large.
Multiple sources said Prabhu, who is in police custody, was among the 19 who failed to make the trip. The officer, however, said, “We couldn’t ascertain his claim. We are still looking at the probability of him being part of the network of traffickers.” A Kerala Police team is camping in Delhi to investigate the case.