Missing medical student active on Facebook

After the first year MBBS student went missing, the family visited Pune and Rajguru Nagar, where his phone had been used, but failed to locate him; his friends, however, detected some activity on his profile page
For the past nine days, the Meshram family has been searching frantically for their 19-year-old son Akshay, a first year MBBS student of BYL Nair medical college, who went missing on September 20. Akshay, whose family is based in Gadchiroli district, was a boarder at the hospital's hostel.  While the family's visits to Pune and Rajguru Nagar - based on leads provided by his mobile number - failed to yield any results, his friends claim that he had logged on to his Facebook account, even after he went missing.

Akshay is the second student to have gone missing from the Nair hospital under such mysterious circumstances, and cops are feeling the heat to deliver results this time. After Meshram's family lodged a missing person's complaint last Friday, officers decided to trace his mobile number, and found that it had been used in Anandi, Pune.

When Meshram's anxious family members learnt of the development, they decided to reach the spot themselves, and search for the boy. Their search, however, ended in disappointment. "As soon as the police informed us that his mobile number had been traced to Pune, we decided to go there and look for him ourselves. We have thoroughly searched all lodges and hotels situated in and around Anandi, but to no avail," said Meshram's father Ashok. Despondent, the family returned to Mumbai, only to be told by the Agripada police that Meshram's mobile phone had last been used in Rajguru Nagar, near Pune. With renewed hope, Ashok and the boy's cousin, Dr Piyush Bawane, embarked on yet another wild goose chase on Wednesday. However, yet again their hopes were dashed, with the trip yielding no significant leads on the missing boy's whereabouts. "His phone was last active at this spot, after which it appears to have been switched off. We are clueless, and have lost all hope. Rajguru Nagar proved to be a dead end," said the careworn father.

While the family frantically searched Rajguru Nagar on Wednesday, the case took a surprising turn when Meshram's hostel mates found that there had been recent activity on his Facebook page. "We will try to see if we can use this information to locate the boy," said API Kharade of Agripada police station.

 "We had wanted our son to study medicine in Nagpur, but he insisted on coming to Mumbai. I don't understand what could have gone wrong," said Ashok, adding, "A sum of Rs 10,000 was withdrawn from an ATM in Panvel, using his card, after he went missing. I had deposited the money when he requested for it, saying that he needed to pay his fees and buy textbooks. But he hasn't paid his fees yet," added Ashok.

API Kharade added, "His friends claimed that he hadn't been able to adjust with his peers. He may have run away. We are considering all angles."

Not the first time
This is not the first time that a medical student has inexplicably gone missing from the hospital. Last December, Satyendra Singh, a first-year MBBS student who hailed from Agra, also disappeared. The police are yet to find him.

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