The mystery of the Bengaluru woman who went missing from an ambulance 2 weeks ago

Her family does not buy the version that she left without informing her family.

More than two weeks after a woman in Bengaluru’s Bommanahalli disappeared a few hours after her family was informed that she ‘tested positive for the coronavirus’, police officials investigating the case are yet to trace her.  Her in-laws who have repeatedly asked the police for an update in the investigation have now enlisted family members to canvass the streets to look for her in her last known location in New Delhi.

Anusha* (name changed) left in a private ambulance on September 4. Her family was informed that she had tested positive for the coronavirus and was being taken away to be quarantined. “The people who came to take her away did not allow her to carry her phone. When we asked them if she could be quarantined at home, those who took her away said that she was in the second stage and that she had to be admitted in a hospital,” explains Vikas Kumar, brother-in-law of Anusha.

The incident occurred a day after rapid COVID-19 tests were conducted near their residence in Bommanahalli, Vikas says.

The family was informed that Anusha will be admitted in Prashant Hospital near their house. “But when we later asked officials at Prashant Hospital, we were told that there was no such patient admitted. Knowing something had gone wrong, we decided to approach the Bommanahalli police station with a complaint on the same day (September 4),” says Vikas.

An FIR was registered in the Bommanahalli Police Station however, the search for the missing woman has not gone according to the plan, alleges the family. “We are still searching for her but we have been unable to find her. She called the police inspector from a location in Govindpuri, New Delhi on September 8,” says Vikas.

The call made from Delhi

During the call, Anusha reportedly said that she would not be returning to her in-laws because of a conflict. “We want to speak to her because if there is a conflict, she can speak to my brother or our family and she does not have to create this situation,” says Vikas.

“She said that her husband didn’t look after her well and that she was abused by her husband,” Ravishankar added. 

The same was reiterated in a ‘fact-check’ published by Karnataka police. “The police investigated the event and found that the complainant and his wife had a dispute and his wife had planned the exit from the house with assistance of her friend and later on 08-09-2020 a call from the missing lady landed on the phone of investigating officer which was recorded,” reads the statement by the police.

“The missing lady said she was safe and would sort out the matter with her husband. Hence neither is it connected to BBMP nor to COVID-19 testing. The twist given to the story is misleading and mischievous,” added the post. 

So where is Anusha?

Ravishankar, the police inspector at Bommanahalli police station who is investigating the case, says that the ambulance which picked Anusha up was not a COVID-19 ambulance. “The ambulance was not from any hospital. According to her, this ambulance was being driven by someone known to her. She has left her phone behind but it has come to our notice that she had another phone through which she contacted us and her husband,” says Ravishankar. 

Ravishankar says that Bengaluru police had informed its counterparts in New Delhi about the case and we have shared messages asking people to report when she is found. 

Anusha’s brother-in-law Vikas agrees that the voice in the call was Anusha’s, but they don’t buy the version that she left without informing her family. They suspect she may have been kidnapped. “She is still missing over two weeks after the incident. We have told the police to investigate two people from Bihar whose names have come up in the investigation. The police has to investigate if she was pressurised to make the call on September 8,” he says.

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