Mumbai: Missing IIT student was last seen 21 days ago

Updated: Dec 14, 2019, 07:56 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

20-year-old Harsh Sharma, who was undergoing treatment for depression, was seen walking out of the institute's main gate in a CCTV footage from Nov 22

Harsh Sharma seen walking out of the institute's main gate
Harsh Sharma seen walking out of the institute's main gate

It has been almost 21 days since Harsh Sharma, a 20-year-old third year B.Tech Dual Degree student of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) went missing from the campus, but there is still no trace of him. Harsh, who was undergoing treatment for depression, was seen walking out of the institute's main gate in a CCTV footage from November 22, after appearing for the last paper of the semester VI examination. The Powai police have sent details of the case to all the nearby police stations, but there has been no lead yet.

Speaking to mid-day, Harsh's father Dinesh Sharma said, "The CCTV footage of November 22 shows him walking out of the institute's main gate around 4.30 pm. Later the same day he was spotted in Kanjurmarg and Vikhroli, but there is no trace of him since then." Dinesh, a resident of Rajasthan, runs a pharmaceutical business and has been in Mumbai since November 23 along with his other family members.

"We have approached as many police stations as possible to get leads. More so, we have also visited all civic, railway and government hospitals to see whether any of them have received accident cases or not," said Dinesh. "He has left all his belongings behind in his room. In the CCTV footage too he is seen not carrying anything," added Dinesh, who was there in Mumbai till November 22 to support Harsh while he underwent treatment from an institute-appointed doctor.

"Post his examination on November 22, we were to leave for Rajasthan, but he told me that he would come later on December 1 along with a friend from the campus, who too hails from Rajasthan. After I went back, his roommate informed me he had left and not returned to the campus. I immediately took a flight back to Mumbai on November 23, along with my elder son," Dinesh said.

When asked whether his son was facing any problems at the campus, which led to his depression, he said, "There were no problems at the institute in terms of ragging or anything else. He had lost interest in pursuing his dual degree. He had approached his head of the department to apply for a transfer certificate, which he was supposed to get in January. We really don't know what suddenly came to his mind."

"He is slightly whimsical in the way he thinks. Initially he only wanted to pursue studies at IIT but then he got bored of it," Dinesh added. When contacted, Milind Khetle, ACP (Sakinaka division), said, "We have sent details of the case to all the nearby police stations in the hope of getting more leads. The Powai institute is also helping the parents and the police in the investigation."

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