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MH370: An SMS enough to shatter hopes

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 - 7:45am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

Shirsath family receives message from airlines asking them to ‘assume that no passengers survived’
  • Shirsath-family-pune-mh370 Kranti Pralhad Shirsath's son and husband in Pune. File Photo dna Research & Archives

Pune: It took one message from the Malaysia Airlines authorities which was sent on Monday evening to bring the hopes of the Shirsath family crashing down. 
For days, the family had been praying frantically that their family member, 44-year-old Kranti Shirsath who was on the ill-fated flight would return home safely. But the message clearly told the family to assume that their loved one had perished in a plane mishap. 
Kranti Shirsath (44), a former chemistry lecturer, is one among the 239 passengers who were on board traveling on the Beijing-bound plane before it went missing on March 8. 
Kranti had planned to return back to India along with her husband who was residing in Malaysia and was working for a non-governmental organisation.
On Monday evening, Kranti’s husband Pralhad who is now in their house in Bhugaon received an SMS from Malaysia Airlines around 7.30 pm.
It read, “Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia Prime Minister, we must now accept all evidence suggests that the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.”
Pralhad who spoke in between sobs, said, “We were asked to watch television address of Malaysian Prime Minister. Just before the address, I received this SMS which has numbed my senses. I was still hoping against hope that my wife would return home safely. And even after receiving their SMS, I don’t believe them. I still have faith that flight would be found.” 
Pralhad said he didn’t have the courage to even inform his sons who were praying for their mother’s return. “I do not want to put down their hopes but I know they will hear about it. I still do not understand on what basis that this claim is being made? If this is true, how is it that cellphones of some passengers were ringing if passengers have been drowned?” 
When asked if Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh has responded to the mail sent to them, Pralhad replied, “No help or reply to our mail came from PMO but the Malaysia Embassy is responding to us.” 
He added, “Though we claim ourselves to be living in a technology-advanced world, we do not have any mechanism which can trace the missing plane. This truth is so not acceptable.” 

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