Veteran ghazal singer Pandit Vithal Rao goes missing
Legendary ghazal singer from Hyderabad, Pandit Vithal Rao, has gone missing from the pilgrim town of Shirdi in Ahmednagar district since the last ten days, his family member said.
A team of Rao's pupils have launched a search operation.
"When my entire family came out after seeking Sai Baba's darshan at the Shirdi temple on May 29, we found my father missing," Vithal Rao's daughter Sandhya, who has been camping in the pilgrim town ever since, said.
"We immediately informed the local police, but they have done nothing to trace my father. Had they done their job, we would have found him by now," she alleged.
Noted ghazal singer Talat Aziz, who knows the ghazal legend since his childhood, told PTI, "Rao sir is the last court singer of the Nizam of Hyderabad who has expertise in Urdu, Persian, Hindi and Sanskrit and sang Sufi lyrics by Amir Khusro."
"It is really sad to know that he has gone missing. I pray for his well-being," he said.
Soma Ghose, a classical singer and ardent fan of Rao, also expressed deep shock.
Rao's students, including those from Mumbai, have posted a page on Facebook titled 'Finding Vithal Rao'.
According to his student Indira Naik, Rao has been suffering from memory loss.
"Raoji is presently suffering from loss of memory, which has made matters worse. All efforts to trace him have so far been unsuccessful.
"We are going to circulate our Guruji's picture in the local media. We hope to find him very soon," Indira said.