As an open letter penned by a nine-year-old from Kodagu went viral, the Karnataka police on Sunday confirmed that they were on the search to find her a mobile phone which allegedly went missing from a Covid-19 hospital. The owner of the phone — the child’s mother — succumbed to the virus on May 16..
“My father, my mother and I tested positive for Covid-19. As the health condition of my mother deteriorated, she was admitted to the Madikeri Covid hospital. My father and I were under home quarantine and could not step outside then,” Hrithiksha, a resident of Kushalnagar wrote in a letter addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Kodagu, the MLA, and the staff of the district Covid-19 hospital.
She further wrote, “My father is a daily wage worker and we were able to survive these days with the help of neighbours. My mother passed away on May 16. Someone has taken my mother’s mobile phone which was with her. I have lost my mother and become an orphan. I have several memories of my mother on that phone. I request, whoever has taken the phone or finds it, to return it…”
Hrithiksha’s father Naveenkumar TR told indianexpress.com, “My wife T K Prabha (36) succumbed to Covid-19 on May 16. However, as her other belongings were handed over to us promptly, her mobile phone has been missing. We tried calling that number several times but the phone is switched off.” As per a complaint he filed at Kushalnagar police station, the missing phone is a Samsung Galaxy J 2 Core device.
Kumar added that his daughter was crying since then as she wanted to get the phone. “Hrithiksha has saved a lot of fond memories of our family in that phone as photos, videos, and other files. She attended online classes using her mother’s phone. I feel helpless now as neither finding the phone nor buying her a new phone looks possible.”
Meanwhile, as the child’s plea went viral on social media, many users requested the police to take swift action. To a tweet, Karnataka DG&IGP Praveen Sood replied, “Our team is on the job. But too many people claiming or working on it does not help the cause. We will do our best to trace.”
Our team is on the job. But too many people claiming or working on it does not help the cause. We will do our best to trace.
— DGP KARNATAKA (@DgpKarnataka) May 23, 2021
At the same time, Kodagu police confirmed that they were coordinating with the hospital authorities to find the phone. “We are also using all facilities to trace the phone as soon as possible and have alerted other stations in the district as well. A case has been filed here based on their complaint,” an officer from Kushalnagar police station said.
Meanwhile, a team of volunteers from the local Indian Youth Congress (IYC) office met the family to hand over a new phone to Hrithiksha. “Since FIR is also registered in this case, we’ve also requested police authorities to catch the thieves asap,” IYC national president Srinivas B V tweeted.