It has been more than six months and yet there is no trace of the 29-year-old Bangalore-based software engineer, Kumar Ajitabh. He went missing last year on December 18. The FIR was lodged two days after he went missing, that is on December 20. Relatives and kins of Ajitabh protested outside the Townhall, Bangalore on Sunday, to mark 200 days of missing Ajitabh.
Ajitabh had been living in the city along with his three flatmates for the last seven years and worked at an MNC. His native place is Patna, Bihar and his sister, Pragya, lives in Delhi.
The Logical Indian spoke to Ajitabh’s sister who said that Ajitabh had secured admission into IIM Kolkata, the fees of which is around Rs 25 lakh. Pragya said, “he had a discussion with us family members after which he decided to sell his Maruti Ciaz car.”
However, the family was not aware that he had listed his car on OLX for sale. On December 18, he returned from the office early, before any of his other flatmates. At 6:30 pm, he left the apartment, even asking his cook, who was preparing the food to come after some time. The CCTV footage of the apartment shows him leaving the apartment.
One of Ajitabh’s roommates, Ravi, said, “When even by December 19 Ajitabh didn’t return, we called him up and found his phone to be switched off. we informed the same to his family. I was the one who lodged the FIR. The police delayed a bit and the FIR was finally lodged on December 20.”
As per Ravi, he and his flatmates didn’t know that Ajitabh had listed his car for sale on the website. “It was only on December 20, when we could access his laptop, which was fortunately not secured by a password, that he had been speaking to a few potential buyers on OLX,” said Ravi.
The family of Ajitabh was able to get the duplicate of the SIM he was using and could get hold of the call logs. OLX, too, interrogated all the customers who had communicated with Ajitabh, but the person with whom Ajitabh last spoke to, could not be reached.
Since Ajitabh’s SIM was synched with his Google account, his last traced location was found to be Gunjur-Varthur road. Incidentally, the suspect was too tracked to the same location.
It also to be noted that when an attempt was made to trace the number of the suspect, it was found that it was purchased on somebody else’s name. “We found that the number was bought under some daily-wage labourer name. We are assuming that on the same Aadhaar card, the vendor has issued multiple SIM cards”, Pragya said.
Pragya also added that Ajitabh, who had applied for a loan of Rs five lakh to be paid as an advance fee, asked for its reversal, “All this strongly pointed to the fact that the deal was finalized between the suspect and Ajitabh.”
Investigations so far
The last location, where Ajitabh was last traced is not a very busy locality. The police obtained the CCTV footage of that area, however, none of the footage showed Ajitabh’s car.
The case was transferred to CID on February 26 and they started the investigation from March 8. “For two months there was no hearing. In the June 19 hearing, CID provided the investigation proceedings in a sealed cover and refused to show it to the family or our lawyers, saying it would hamper the investigation process.”
The family is requesting the Karnataka High Court to transfer the case to CBI or expedite the case. The Karnataka HC has told that if the CID is unable to make any progress by July 31, the case will be transferred to CBI.
Right now, CID is seeking to obtain the WhatsApp conversation. “To obtain the chats, a procedure has to be followed, called MLAT, first the request has to go to the state government for approval, then the centre, which would then send a request to WhatsApp company. Right now this awaits approval from the central government.”
Pragya believes that if the case were transferred to CBI earlier, those WhatsApp chats could have been obtained by now. “They can also investigate if an interstate gang is involved.”
The family has been through extreme mental agony given that more than six months have passed and there has been no visible progress.