B. Srinivas, 29, a PhD IITB student has been missing since he went to trek alone at Sandshi hills near Karjat in October. Srinivas, who resided in room number A-427 of hostel 12, is believed to have left for Karjat on October 25 without meeting his colleagues. Soon after, an FIR was lodged at Karjat police station and a joint search operation was undertaken by the police force and IIT officials.
His neighbour in hostel 12 informed PaGaLGuY that Srinivas was very fond of adventure and had asked to assist him on planning his travel. “He was an experienced trekker. He had been to more than 30 treks in the past, and usually preferred going to such places alone”, claims the neighbour who did not wish to be named. “He did not own any professional trekking gear”, he added. Srinivas’s friends recall a similar incident when Srinivas went to trek in the past and didn’t return for 4 days. His friends, then, got worried and decided to inform the police but Srinivas showed up the next day. “He had climbed the most difficult part of the trek and spent the night at Bahiri Devi temple inside the cave”, said a close friend who spoke to him on phone on the night of October 25. Srinivas also told his friend that he would return safely by the end of next day. The friend who accompanied Srinivas on two treks explained how Srinivas would set his eyes on a trip and accomplish it by carrying minimal baggage. IITB has a trekkers group which organises such trips frequently. However, Srinivas never went with them and instead chose to explore places alone. The number of treks he had successfully completed without much professional help proves how he loved to be on his own on such trips.
After repeated failed attempts to reach him through phone, Srinivas’s friends and father visited the site of the trek (Sandshi village) on November 2 to search for him, but to no avail.
While DNA reports are awaited of the unidentified body discovered at Sandshi hill on December 11, the IIT officials have asked the students to stand by Srinivas’s family in this moment of grief. The institute authorities have decided not to comment on this issue until the DNA reports are out.