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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

Phagwara girl goes missing in Oz, parents blame husband

Rajeev Bhaskar , Hindustan Times  Phagwara, October 14, 2013
First Published: 15:27 IST(14/10/2013) | Last Updated: 21:31 IST(14/10/2013)

Natasha Narang (30), a student hailing from this town, has been missing in Australia since October 4.

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A PhD student at University of Tasmania, Natasha was reported missing by her husband, Sandeep Narang. Later, her belongings were recovered from the bank of the Tamar river by the Tasmania police.

Her family alleged here on Monday that Sandeep, with whom she had strained relations, was responsible for her disappearance.

Natasha's father Radha Krishan told HT, "My daughter got married to Sandeep on December 8, 2009. From the beginning, she was harassed and beaten up by her husband and in-laws." He stated that Natasha secured scholarship of Rs. 50 lakh from the University of Tasmania last year for doing PhD and Sandeep went to Melbourne on the spouse visa on October 28, 2012.

"Around 6am on October 5, Sandeep called me up and informed that Natasha had not returned from her college, where he had left her in the afternoon on October 4," Krishan said.

"The next day, Sandeep rang up and said Natasha had probably committed suicide," Krishan said, adding that when he asked him whether he had lodged a complaint with the local police, he (Sandeep) said he would do it now.

In his statement to the police, Sandeep said Natasha was experiencing acute mental stress due to her studies and might have committed suicide. "How is it possible that such a bright student could take the extreme step because of mental stress related to her studies?" Natasha's father asked.

On October 9, the family was informed that her belongings, including handbag, mobile phone and jacket, had been recovered from the bank of the Tamar river by the police.

Natasha's younger sister Latisha told HT that in the evening on October 4, after her sister was reported missing by Sandeep, her (Natasha's) Skype account remained active for several hours.

"It seems Sandeep was operating Natasha's Skype account to find out whether she had sent messages which could put him in trouble," Latisha alleged.

"We tried to lodge a formal complaint against Sandeep and his family at the local police station, but to no avail," she said.

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