Chintala Pydi Raju kidnapped by suspected Bodo militants

The trauma being faced by the family members of Chintala Pydi Raju, the engineer kidnapped by suspected Bodo militants, is unfathomable. With anxiety writ large on their faces, his father Appa Rao and mother Nagamani await the news of their son’s safe release from the clutches of the militants. Their eyes have run dry.

Pydi Raju, a quality control engineer of the Hyderabad-based B. Seenaiah & Company (Projects) Limited, was involved in the execution of a project undertaken for the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited at Baksha in lower Assam since the past one-and-half-year.

Their small house at Vadlapudi R.H. Colony near Kurmannapalem here was flooded with visitors during the past few days. Appa Rao, a mason, and his illiterate wife could hardly understand the motive behind the kidnapping. His nephew, Chitrada Suri Appa Rao, and his relatives answered most of the calls on the mobile or from the media.

Nagamani called her son on his mobile around 4:30 p.m. on Friday (February 15). “I am at the site (project site), call me tomorrow morning. Shall I send you any money? I will send it on Monday,” she said, recalling his last words. The only thing I could ask him was: “Are you okay?”

“On Saturday I called him but the phone didn’t ring and I tried again at noon and 5:30 p.m. but there was no answer,” she said.

She sensed that something was wrong after receiving a call from the company officials in Assam the same evening around 6:30 asking her whether her son had come home. Later, around 7 p.m., she got a call from them saying that her son was kidnapped and efforts were being made to get him released.

The anxiety of Appa Rao echoed in his voice as he asked the project-in-charge Bhaskar: “Is he having food, is he safe? Is there any problem with his work? We haven’t slept for the past five days. When will he return?

Despite his poverty, Appa Rao had ensured that his son and daughter Lakshmana, who is doing her MBBS final year in Andhra Medical College, had proper education. His younger brother Chintala Nagaraju, who is employed in Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, ensured that their education did not suffer for want of money.