Malaysian engineer missing in north Indian mountains

By P. Vijian, NNN-Bernama,

Uttranchal : A Malaysian engineer, who tracked to the hilly Tapovan in Uttarkasi District in north India to meet his spiritual master, is missing without a trace since last month.

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Vicknesvaren Murugesu, who works in New York, flew from the United States to Gangotri, a popular Hindu pilgrimage town along the Himalayan range, on Sept 18 for a pilgrimage retreat.

The 33-year-old Vicknesvaren who hails from Kuala Lumpur, along with an Indian porter, decided to track up to Tapovan, located about 25km from his rest house in Gangotri and was scheduled to return to his base two weeks later.

“He is spiritually inclined and came from the US to visit an Indian spiritual guru and later went to meet another guru Muni Babji nearby.

“He went alone to Muni Babji’s place after asking his porter to return home. He was expected to return to his rest house by end of the month but no sign of him until now,” Steven Nathan, Vickensvaren’s brother-in-law told Bernama in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Many spiritual gurus and followers, who often meditate on the mountain areas, are beginning to return from Tapovan as the biting north Indian cold winter, which usually begins in October, has enveloped the Himalayan region.

Tapovan, also known for its spiritual attraction, is located about 4,450 metres above sea level.

“No one seems to know anything about him. Our earlier informal search team found his tent, diary, stove, food and sleeping bag near Muni Babji’s place. But search operations were slowed down as most of the potters and officials were on Deepavali vacation.

“They have all returned today and about 20 professional trackers and potters are going up to Tapovan this morning. The weather is also getting cold, temperature is minus 10 degrees Celsius in Tapovan,” said Steven, who is in Gangotri now.

Meanwhile in New Delhi, the Malaysian High Commission is coordinating with the Indian authorities to help search for the missing Malaysian.