Oz: Friend of missing Indian says he wasn’t happy

A young Indian student, who went missing in Sydney last week, was "not happy" and wanted to spend time in the mountains rather than study engineering, a friend of his has said.

Last Updated: Oct 06, 2010, 09:35 AM IST

Melbourne: A young Indian student, who
went missing in Sydney last week, was "not happy" and wanted
to spend time in the mountains rather than study engineering,
a friend of his has said.

20-year old Abhijit Swami, who had arrived in
Australia some months back from Rajasthan and was pursuing a
diploma in electrical engineering, left his home on a bicycle
last Friday but did not return.

"He changed in the last three weeks," Ryan Hidalgo, a
friend of the Mount Druitt TAFE student was quoted by `Sydney
Morning Herald` as saying on Wednesday.

"He said he didn`t know what he likes in life and he
asked me about that. He was asking me about where to do some
(outdoor) climbing in Sydney," he said.

According to the paper Hidalgo said Swami did not look
happy. He occasionally visited Summit Indoor Climbing Centre
in Blacktown.

"He said he can take care of himself and said `I just
want to test my physical ability`. He said, `I`m a strong man,
so don`t worry about me. I can eat just one banana a day,"
Hidalgo said.

Swami left his uncle`s Seven Hills home on Friday
about 10.15 am, wearing jeans, a shirt and trainers, and has
not been seen since. When he failed to return as expected, his
family reported him missing.

Police found his pushbike at Blacktown train station
and saw glimpses of him in CCTV footage from Central train
station on Friday.

Swami came to Sydney to study as his uncle, Surender
Gora, lived in the city.

Gora said the young student`s parents in India, Rakesh
and Pramila Swami, were very worried about their son and were
calling him every two to three hours.

When he left home, Swami was not carrying a mobile
phone and had just USD 50 cash in his pocket and about USD 75
in his bank account.

He arrived in Sydney from his hometown of Anupgarh, in
Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan in western India four months ago
to study at TAFE.

"He`s studying a two-year diploma of electrical
engineering and planned to go to University of Western Sydney
after that to get a degree as well," Gora said.

He added: "I came here in 2000 and I brought my
brother here. It`s a very good country and very safe. That`s
why I decided with (his family) to send him here with us and
he will have a better life."

Gora said his nephew was a shy and soft-spoken man,
who did not have many friends or a girlfriend in Sydney. He
also worked as a paperboy on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

PTI