A day after news about the abduction of an American university researcher, Juhi Tyagi, by Naxalites in the extremist-affected Jamui district of Bihar flashed in the media, it turned out to be a false alarm.
“There is nothing of that sort. I don’t know how the news spread. She has been doing research for the last three years and keeps visiting Bihar and other parts of the country. She spends months in different areas. She keeps in touch with the family. After the news about her abduction spread, she contacted me to tell what the hullabaloo was all about,” said a relaxed Juhi’s father Prabhat Tyagi, who is presently in New Delhi.
Tyagis are settled in Bangalore, while Juhi, in mid-20s, is a sociologist at the Stony Brook University, New York, USA.
“Juhi was surprised to know that there was news about her abduction. She often spends a month or more in interior areas to elicit different views of people. She travels a lot. She is absolutely fine and doing her job,” he added.
Juhi was not available for comments, as her mobile was switched off.
“She does not want to talk from where she is right now. Her mobile remains switched off. She calls when she wants. But she wants all this to stop. She is at present in the interiors and visiting villages,” said Juhi’s uncle Shashi Shukla, who is in Patna.
Jamui Superintendent of Police Ram Narain Singh had on Wednesday said that Tyagi had gone missing for the last two days along with a local, Pradeep Das. There was, however, no complaint from anyone regarding abduction. The SP said that Juhi had visited the area earlier also.
“She has gone on her own for studies in the interiors. She is using her mobile as per convenience. The police also got to know about her through media and later we tried to verify it from the village she visited last. There was no prior information regarding her to the police,” the SP added.
Jushi, working on the problems of extremism, used to visit the area quite often.
During her visits, she used to stay at Das’ house at Mohlitand village and visited even remote areas for research work.
She had gone missing from Nawada area under Kowakol police station of Jamui district. On Tuesday afternoon, she had gone out with one Pradeep Das on his motorcycle. Since then both of them were reported to have gone missing.