Hemanth was employed by Ford Motors at their Detroit plant for the past eight months. His friends told Mumbai Mirror that he had taken up a bigger apartment on lease only a few weeks ago, as his parents were planning to visit him.
The body was found wrapped in a plastic sheet, and was lying on a sofa, according to the information provided to the family by the Detroit police. The cops have also found a photograph, which they believe was clicked by Hemanth using his mobile phone, which shows him wrapped in the sheet.
A family friend told this newspaper, “We are really worried about Hemanth’s parents… they refuse to believe their son has committed suicide. What is making it worse is they are not going to get back the body immediately, as the Detroit police have not ruled out homicide, and have launched an investigation to determine the cause of death.”
Hemanth’s father Jayaraman is employed with Reliance Industries, and the deceased’s elder brother is based in Chennai. The family has initiated the process to claim the body, and have contacted the Indian Embassy and the US Consulate.
A relative of the deceased said Hemanth didn’t answer the phone on May 14, following which his parents alerted his cousin, who resides in Detroit. “The cops had to break open the door to enter the apartment, and found Hemanth had died,” a family friend said.
Hemanth studied engineering at the Lokmanya Tilak College in Koparkhairane, and completed his Masters from the University of Michigan. He landed a job with Ford Motors in September last year. His friends in the city took to the social networking sites to express their shock. “Hemanth, why did you do this?” read one such post on Facebook, while another said, “We never expected this from you.”
Danish Khan in London
The parents of missing Mumbai man Hamid Ansari, who went looking for a job in Afghanistan last November and later apparently entered Pakistan where he vanished, are exploring all possible avenues to locate their son. They have now contacted UKbased solicitor Jas Uppal, who was instrumental in the release of Vile Parle resident Bhavesh Parmar from a Pakistani jail. Uppal had also made a presentation for British parliamentarians in March this year on Indian Prisoners of War (POWs) in Pakistani jails.
Hamid, 27, who had a 30-day visa, had gone to Kabul for an airline job interview in November 2012. His family last spoke to him on November 10, after which he went missing, and they tried various means to locate him, including through his email and Facebook accounts. Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, Hamid’s mother Fauzia confirmed they are in touch with Uppal. “We hope Uppal’s contacts and presence in Britain will help us locate Hamid. We are seeking help from as many people and organisations as possible,” she said.
The Versova-based Ansaris who learnt that Uppal has been working for the release of Indian POWs in Pakistani jails, contacted Uppal a week ago. Uppal’s primary concern is to establish Hamid’s location, and she is using her contacts to get in touch with Pakistani-origin British MPs for more details.
After going to Kabul, Hamid is believed to have entered Pakistan to rescue a friend from a forced marriage. According to Fauzia, Hamid had made friends with her over the internet. “There’s no other way he could know someone from Pakistan. The mails we received from his friends have been confirmed by the Mumbai police’s cyber crime cell to have originated from Pakistan, which establishes that he’s in Pakistan,” Fauzia said.
“We also called the Indian commission in Islamabad and they have assured us of all help,” she added. Uppal has already got in touch with international human rights organisations and the governments in India and Pakistan. “Being in UK one has access to several international organisations that can put pressure on governments to act in such cases,” Uppal told Mumbai Mirror.
She has also contacted MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin, who informed her that New Delhi has “taken it up with the countries concerned and is seeking information about his whereabouts”. Uppal, incidentally, had started a campaign in UK for the release of Sarabjit Singh, who had written a letter thanking her for her efforts.