‘Depressed’ Latvian Tourist Missing in Kerala
Liga Skromane, who was in India for Ayurvedic treatment, was last seen at Kovalam beach last week.
The case of a missing Latvian national in Kovalam, Kerala, has raised concerns over tourist safety in India. The 33-year-old woman named Liga Skromane, who came to Kerala along with her sister, went missing at Kovalam beach under mysterious circumstances around 7 pm on March 14.
Sisters Liga and Ilzie came to India last week to undergo Ayurvedic treatment at a healing center near Pothencode. Liga was diagnosed with post-traumatic depression and thus came for the treatment to India, according to the Sun. She is a permanent resident of Ireland. The missing sister reportedly complained of a headache and skipped the morning yoga class she was due to attend with her sister last week.
Liga had hired an autorickshaw from the Ayurvedic center to Kovalam beach, the New Indian Express (NIE) reported, citing the police. She has been missing since. Ilzie, the younger sister, has filed a complaint with the chief minister’s office and called on city police commissioner P Prakash, alleging police inaction in search for her sister. The Pothencode police have registered a missing person case.
According to Ilzie, she returned to the room an hour later at 8.30 am after the yoga session and found that her sister’s sandals were not there but her bag, passport, and wallet were still in the room. With the aid of the staff of Dharma Ayurveda Centre for Advanced Healing, she found that Liga took a rickshaw at 7.30 am. She is believed to have traveled to Kovalam beach’s main rickshaw stand around 8.30 am.
Ilzie went to the beach to look for her sister and met two people who had seen Liga around 11.30 am but since then she was nowhere to be seen.
“She is vulnerable and gentle, she is too trusting. My worst fear is that someone may have approached her with something bad. That’s my biggest worry. We searched all the beach area and we were showing Liga’s photo to shop owners, restaurant staff, traders, everyone we could. After a few hours, we went to the printing place and printed Liga’s picture. We glued it on main spots where people could see it… We drove to two other nearby beaches, stopped at all the rickshaw stands and showed her picture,” Ilzie told the Sun.
The police in Pothencode have registered a missing person report and the investigation is ongoing.
“It was difficult for us to trace her in the initial days as she left behind all her belongings, including passport, in a bag kept at the Ayurvedic center. We have been conducting a search at Kovalam and Vizhinjam for the last two days, but couldn’t find her. We’re hopeful of finding her at the earliest,” Pothencode sub-inspector Aswini Kumar told NIE on March 18.
The sister and Liga’s partner, Andrew Jordan, who came to India on an emergency visa, have sought help from the ministry of foreign affairs of the Republic of Latvia, the embassy of Ireland in India and other diplomatic institutions.