Infosys employee Raghavendra Ganeshan, posted in Brussels for the last four years, called his mother Annapoorni on Skype as usual on Tuesday hours ahead of the Brussels terror attacks. He told her he was about to leave for work. When his brother, who lives in Germany, called Annapoorni to inform her about the terror strikes, she realized they happened to be on the same route her son takes every day to get to work.
In an interview to The News Minute, Annapoorni said she initially thought the attack was at the airport. "But later there were news flashes that there was a blast in the metro line- between Merode to Park station. This is the metro route my son uses to commute to office every day," she said.
The Infosys employee has been missing in Brussels since the deadly terror attacks and the Indian Embassy in the Belgian capital was making efforts to trace him. On Twitter, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj posted his image asking for help.
He spoke to his mother an hour before the blasts in Brussels. Please help us locate Raghvendran./2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) 23 March 2016
Indians in Brussels - This is the picture of Raghavendran Ganesh. pic.twitter.com/9M1qlKkVVH /1— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) 23 March 2016
Two Jet Airways crew members -- Nidhi Chaphekar and Amit Motwanai -- were also injured in the explosions at Brussels' Zaventem airport. Brussels airport serves as the Mumbai-based airline's European hub for its international operations, which is now being relocated to Dutch capital Amsterdam.
Many of his friends claimed they have received a "message" on social media, purportedly from her son, saying he was safe, Annapoorani told the Indian Express. "But I did not get any confirmation from the Ministry of External Affairs about such a notification. I have been informed that my son will be traced with information of the location of his last mobile call,” she said.
Ganeshan's friends in the city are looking for him as his name does not appear in lists of casualties. The young Infosys employee had reportedly visited India last month after his wife gave birth. In a series of tweets, Swaraj has assured all help from her ministry in tracing Ganeshan.
We are doing our best to locate Raghavendran Ganesh. /2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) 23 March 2016
These are the Indian Embassy's helpline in Brussels:
+32-26451850 (PABX) &
Belgian police arrested six people in their probe of the Islamic State suicide bombings, while authorities in France said they thwarted a militant plot there "that was at an advanced stage." The federal prosecutor's office in Belgium said on Thursday that the arrests came during police searches in the Brussels neighbourhoods of Schaerbeek in the north and Jette in the west, as well as in the centre of the Belgian capital.
The arrests came days after suicide bombers hit the Brussels airport and a metro train, killing at least 31 people and wounding some 270 in the worst such attack in Belgian history.
Officials told The Hindu that telephone records of Ganeshan placed him at the Montgomery metro station, just before 9 am, four stops away from the Maelbeek Station where the blasts occurred at about 9:11 am. At least 20 people were killed at the Maelbeek station.
“We are up against privacy laws that prevent us from getting a full list of those injured, as well as strict rules at the hospitals that won't allow us to go in and personally identify anyone,” India’s Ambassador to the EU, Manjeev Puri, told The Hindu.
(Inputs from agencies)
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