For 11 years, ‘missing’ Kerala woman stayed hidden close to her home

She stayed put in her lover’s room, while the rest of his household remained clueless

The Kerala couple had feared parental opposition to their relationship (representational image).

A young woman in Ayalur village of Kerala’s Palakkad district had been reported missing about 11 years ago; it has now been revealed that the woman had all along been quite safe, living barely 500 metres away from where she went missing.

Fearing parental opposition, Sajitha, now 28, had secretly left her parental home about a decade ago to live with her lover Rahman, reported The New Indian Express. Rahman, now 34, hid his lover in his small room while the rest of the household (his parents and sister) knew nothing about it.

The room could be locked from either side, and Sajitha lived within its confines through the day, leaving it only at night for daily ablutions, said the report. Rahman brought her meals to the room.

Yet another missing case

The twist in the tale came about three months ago, when Rahman went missing from his house. Finally, on Tuesday, his brother spotted him and the entire story came to light. The police intervened, Rahman and Sajitha were produced before the court; the latter said she wished to live with him. They were then let off.

When Sajitha went missing, in February 2010, her family had filed a missing case. Among those the police questioned was Rahman. But nothing came of the enquiry; the police did not suspect an elopement since Rahman was still in the village.

Then, when Rahman himself went missing in March 2021, his family filed a police complaint. Finally, his brother spotted him riding a two-wheeler in Nenmara town, said the New Indian Express report.

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Rahman told the police he and Sajitha had rented a house in Vithunassery, where they were now living. Sajitha was summoned to the station. Once she stated that she wished to live with him, the couple were allowed to go.

It turned out Rahman did plan to leave his parents’ home with Sajitha all those years ago, but lack of money did not allow it.

Did his family guess?

Rahman’s family were clueless about the existence of a young strange woman under their own roof, but they did think his behaviour was strange at times, said the news report. They assumed he was suffering from bouts of depression.

He wouldn’t let anybody near his room, said the police officer who conducted the enquiry. He took up painting and electrician jobs, but left for work only occasionally.

Sajitha’s parents, meanwhile, had assumed she had died. Her name had even been struck off the ration card, it is reported.