Kodagu woman’s never-ending wait for missing husband, an Army Jawan
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Kodagu woman’s never-ending wait for missing husband, an Army Jawan

June 12, 2019

Madikeri: Here is a heart-rending case, where a woman, wife of a gallant jawan, is waiting for the return of her husband, who has gone missing for nearly two decades.

This is the tragic story of Parvathi, a native of Ammathi in Virajpet taluk of Kodagu district.

Pudiyokkada Uthaiah, also of Ammathi, joined the Indian Army in 1985 and later married Parvathi. Uthaiah, who came to Ammathi on leave in 1999, left home after completion of his leave. But Uthaiah neither reported for duty nor returned home and his whereabouts could not be traced until now.

The Army, which took up Uthaiah’s case, initially said that Uthaiah has gone missing in action. But months later, the Army told Parvathi that Uthaiah was dead, which Parvathi is not   willing to believe.

Uthaiah, who was serving as an Army Lance Naik with the Signal Battalion in Uttar Pradesh, came to his native Ammathi on a 20-day leave in 1999. After completion of the leave, he left behind his pregnant wife Parvathi and went to Allahabad, UP, to report again for duty.

Uthaiah called his wife on Nov.21, 1999 to say that he was not well. But Parvathi has not heard of him since then, which has left her family shattered.

The Army sent a telegram to Uthaiah’s family on Dec.4, 1999 which asked the family members to send back Uthaiah to the Army Unit, where he was working.

Upon receiving the telegram, a pregnant Parvathi went into a state of shock and some days later, delivered a baby which died a few days later.

But later on, Parvathi regained her composure and went to the Army Unit where Uthaiah was working. However, she could not find any clues about  her husband.

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As days passed, the Army wrote a letter to Parvathi stating that Uthaiah had died on June 14, 2000. The Army, after declaring Uthaiah dead, began paying meagre pension to Parvathi from  2010. Even as the Army confirmed Uthaiah’s death, it has failed to trace his body or even explain to the family on how he died.

Now Parvathi, who is left alone, is running from pillar to post in Army circles, appealing the Army Officers to trace her missing husband. Not the one to give up, Parvathi is waiting alone, just as Shabari in the epic Ramayana, for her husband Uthaiah to return home, even after 20-long-years he went missing.

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