Biju Kurian | Photo: Screengrab/Mathrubhumi News
Kozhikode: Absconding farmer Biju Kurian returned to Kerala on Monday morning. Biju was a member of the Kerala delegation that visited Israel to study modern farming techniques. The Iritty native reached Karipur airport at around 4 am by an Air Gulf flight through Bahrain.
Biju’s brother was at the airport. Biju said that his aim was to visit holy places and added that he was not absconding. He apologised to the government and the members of the delegation that went to Israel.
Talking to the media at the airport, Biju said that the delegation was to return on February 19, so he decided to visit holy places before this. “I first visited Jerusalem and then went to Bethlahem,” he said. Biju added that while he was trying to come back on Saturday, he faced problems in connecting with others through WhatsApp and other mediums.
Biju said he was unhappy on seeing news coming out about him. So he stayed there. “It was not possible to return with the group at such a stage,” Biju claimed. He apologised to his family, the delegates, agriculture department, the principal secretary, the minister and the government.
He further said that he did not inform the delegation about the trip as he feared he would not get approval. Biju said he was unable to inform because of the unavailability of internet facility and could not make ISD calls.
Biju also claimed that he was not captured by any agency and said that he returned to Kerala with the ticket sent by his brother.
However, there were reports that the Israeli police sent Biju back after the state government intervened through the Indian Embassy. The embassy had received information that Biju was in an area where Malayalis were staying. Following this, the embassy reportedly took the help of Israeli police.