After Kannur farmer, 6 Holy Land pilgrims from Kerala go ‘missing’ in Israel

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after the Kerala Government asked the Indian Embassy in Israel to cancel the visa of a farmer who went missing in Israel, it has emerged that six members of a team that went on a pilgrimage tour have also absconded after reaching the West Asian nation.

A complaint has been filed with the DGP that six people, including five women, have gone missing in Israel.

The six belong to the group of devotees who went on a pilgrimage to Israel with a priest from Nalanchira, Fr. George Joshua.

The priest told Manorama News that those who went missing did not even take their passports or clothes. “Those who went missing include 69-year-old mothers,” he said.

Fr Joshua said he has been conducting pilgrimage tours since 2006. This year, the journey started on February 8. They entered Israel in February through Egypt. On February 14, three people went missing from a tour site and the others went missing the next day, he said. Three of them are natives of Thiruvananthapuram and two are natives of Kundara in Kollam. One is an Idukki native living in Varkala.

He said he filed a case with the Israel Immigration Police through email on February 15.

“I returned to Kerala on February 19 and filed a complaint with the DGP two days later. He told me that a special team has been tasked to investigate the issue,” said Fr Joshua.

“We filed a complaint under the impression that they had gone missing from the beginning of the tour. But now we know that they absconded intentionally. There is not even a visa for such trips. We only get a permit to go there for a few days. I don’t understand what people aged over 65 years are going to do there. In any case, it is not possible to slip out without the support of people who know the place,” Fr Joshua said.

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