Kandhamal farmer goes missing on way home after attending KALIA launch in Puri

Puri: Lingaraj Ngautia (66), a farmer of Odia Sahi at Bilamal village under Tumudibandha block in Kandhamal district left his house on January 24 along with other farmers of his village to attend the launch of KALIA scheme in Puri the next day. The KALIA programme that was inaugurated by CM Naveen Patnaik at the Malatipatpur Rahangiria village ground in Puri on January 25 ended, all the farmers returned to their respective places, but Lingaraj went missing under mysterious circumstances.

Durjyadhan Amar Seth, a farmer who accompanied Lingaraj to the venue, said “We returned in the same evening (January 25) after attending the programme at Malatipatpur in Puri. He was there with us that night. We alighted the bus for refreshment near Durgaprasad the next morning (January 26). Lingaraj also got off the bus with us but was not seen anywhere after some time. We searched for a couple of hours but could not trace him anywhere.”

Later, when the co-villagers reached Bilamal and informed the matter to Lingaraj’s family members, they lodged a complaint at Belghar police station.

“My husband went to attend the KALIA scheme programme on Thursday (January 24) and it’s been 12 days I haven’t seen him,” said wife of Lingaraj, Shanti Ngautia.

Meanwhile, Tumudibandha Block Development Officer (BDO), Jaydev Das informed that a search operation has been initiated to trace Lingaraj. “The District Collector has directed the SDPO to take steps to locate the missing farmer. We have also launched an operation to trace him and we are in touch with the SDPO. We hope we will be able to find him soon.”