• MH370
    Chandrika Sharma, who was on board MH370, seen here with her husband KS Narendran and their daughter.KS Narendran
  • MH370
    Chandrika Sharma, who was on board MH370.KS Narendran

A little after 11 pm IST on Wednesday, Chennai-based KS Narendran received a call from the local station manager of Malaysia Airlines, alerting him of an important announcement to be made by the Malaysian Prime Minister on MH370.

Since the disappearance of the plane on 8 March last year, Narendran, whose wife Chandrika Sharma was on board MH370, has been receiving updates from the intermediary of the airline. 

The family support centre established by the airline also called to inform him of an announcement, likely to be a confirmation about the recent discovery of a plane debris on the Reunion Island. 

"I had advance information that an announcement was to be made by Malaysia. I was hoping it could be a comprehensive statement on MH370," Narendran told IBTimes India. 

However, Malaysian PM Najib Razak's statement was short and consolatory. [Read full statement here]

Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts has conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370," Razak said in a televised statement on Thursday. 

"We now have physical evidence that, in March last year, Flight MH370 tragically ended in the south Indian Ocean. I hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of the 239 people on board MH370," he said. 

The statement came even as French investigators themselves refrained from making any definite announcements on the debris being from the missing plane, stating only that it was a "high probability".

Even Australia, which has been leading the multinational search for the plane, did not make any conclusive statement.

Malaysia jumped the gun, yet again, in a rush to make a statement. It was a little too soon, and it would have been better had they waited to make a more comprehensive statement with all the information from the analysis and investigation so far," Narendran said.

"They should have laid out the facts to provide an adequate basis for their statement. I don't know if they have any compulsions to make these statements, but their announcements have always been sketchy from the beginning," Narendran said. 

For families whose relatives were on board the plane that veered off into one of the biggest mysteries in recent times, such a statement raises more questions than it answers, Narendran said. 

Where is the rest of the plane? What happened on board that day? Who was responsible? What led to a situation that the plane went completely off its assigned route?

He said, "Even if it is established that the debris was indeed from MH370, doubts still remain about  what happened. Could it have been that the passengers were done away with and the plane dumped into the ocean? How do we know?"  

The 51-year-old had told IBTimes earlier this year, ahead of the MH370 anniversary, that he was "beginning to believe that conspiracy theories may have value"

Narendran, like family members of other MH370 passengers, had expressed their anger in January when Malaysia declared that the missing plane was in an accident, and had said that all on board were presumed to be dead. 

The fresh declaration by Malaysia on Thursday also sparked similar anger as it seemed to be an individual statement instead of a joint one by all those involved in the search and investigation. 

"In my view, they should have held back from making a statement till they had something more," Narendran said. 

While the focus is now on the French investigators analysing the Reunion island wing part in France, for Narendran, even a final confirmation is not the end of the journey. 

"It is just one stop in a long, arduous journey. It will only suggest that there is a need for a more painstaking search, review of the search area, and a more concrete plan of action," he said. 

But more importantly, they should share the facts from the analysis so far, to bring some clarity on what could have happened to MH370," he said.