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Kin of Indians on missing Malaysian plane clutch on to hopes

Source: PTI
March 09, 2014 17:36 IST
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Relatives of five Indian passengers, travelling by the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, are anxiously waiting for any information about the fate of the aircraft and their loved ones. Samved Kolekar, whose father, mother and brother were travelling by the Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is waiting patiently along with his wife at a hotel here along with relatives of 154 Chinese passengers.

It is a testing time for the young researcher in Astrophysics as he is waiting to know about his parents and brother who were coming here to visit him. "They are coming to visit me here," Samved, who hails from Mumbai, told PTI.

Considering the tough time he is going through, he was reluctant to interact with the media and provide more details. His father, Vinod Kolekar , 59, mother Chetana, 55, and younger brother Swanand, 23 were in the plane along with two other Indians Chandrika Sharma, 51, and Kranti Pralhad Shirshath, whose husband is based in Pyongyang in North Korea.

Both Samved and Pralhad are put up in a hotel here by the Malaysian airline as search continued to locate the plane carrying 239 passengers and crew amid reports that it may have been crashed off Vietnamese coast on Saturday.

Indian Ambassador to China Ashok K Kantha spoke to both Samved and Pralhad over phone and offered all assistance, while Counsellor Shrila Dutta Kumar met them. M H Pastakia, head of the Indian community in Beijing, also called on Samved and offered all support and assistance. As the search operation made little progress, the

The Malaysia Airlines meanwhile offered to fly both the families to Kuala Lumpur along with the relatives of 154 Chinese passengers in order to provide them better assistance at the headquarters.

They have not yet decided and preferred to wait for the news about the fate of the plane. Family members of Chennai-based Chandrika Sharma, an executive secretary in the International Collective in Support  of Fishworkers who was also travelling in the same plane on way to Mongolia on official work, were expected to reach Beijing or Kuala Lumpur after an official announcement about the fate of the plane.

Milon Mukherjee, uncle of Muktesh Mukherjee who is on Malaysia Airlines plane which has gone missing with 239 people on board, today said he was clutching to hopes that his nephew would be well. "I still hope that God will not be so cruel to a family," Mukherjee, an accomplished lawyer practising at Calcutta high court, told PTI.

Indian-origin Canadian Muktesh, 42, vice-president of operations in China of Pennsylvania-based Xcoal Energy and Resources was onboard the plane with his Chinese wife Xiaomo Bai.

Muktesh is the grandson of Mohan Kumaramangalam, the steel and mines minister in Indira Gandhi's cabinet. Kumaramangalam had died in an air crash in May 1973 near Palam Airport in New Delhi. Muktesh is the son of Moloy Mukherjee, who was a senior executive and board member of ArcelorMittal Group, and Uma, eldest daughter of Kumaramangalam.

"He is like my son, we are very close and even went to watch the last football World Cup final together," Mukherjee said. According to his uncle, Muktesh studied at Calcutta Boys' School in Kolkata until class VIII and then went to DPS, Bhilai. He then studied at BIT Mesra before going away to Canada to pursue higher studies.

Malaysia Airlines said it is 'fearing the worst' for its missing plane carrying 239 people and is working with a US company that specialises in disaster recovery to locate the aircraft. The Beijing-bound Boeing 777-200 plane from Kuala Lumpur has 227 passengers on board, including five Indians and one Indian-origin Canadian, and 12 crew members.

Image: Arni Marlina, 36, a family member of a passenger onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, shows a family picture on her mobile phone, at a hotel in Putrajaya. Photograph: Samsul Said/Reuters

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