‘Dead’ man walks home,triggers identity crisis

On Thursday,December 19,Shanker walked into his house in the afternoon.

Written by Express News Service | Surat | Published:December 20, 2013 9:54 pm

In a bizarre incident,a 45-year-old man who was presumed dead,walked into his house on Thursday. Family members and the police were shocked to see him alive as his “body” had been cremated a month back.

Police now believe that the man actually cremated might have been a Muslim because when the unidentified body was recovered,a Muslim family too had turned up to claim it.

The sequence of events started with the recovery of an unidentified body on the banks of Dokmardi creek in Silvassa,on November 19. Silvassa police took charge of the body which was later sent to government hospital,for post-mortem. Meanwhile,the same evening Vijay Harpati and his brother Kishan Harpati,both residents of Zanda Chowk in Silvassa,rushed to the government hospital and identified the body as that of their uncle Shanker Harpati,who had been missing for some days.

Silvassa police started investigations and after investigations,handed over the body Vijay,Krishan and other relatives. According to Kishan’s statement,Shanker was a bachelor,unemployed,a wanderer and an alcoholic. Vijay and Kishan’s father Ishwar had died five years back.

They took the body on November 19 and the cremation was held as per Hindu rites. The next day,as news appeared in local newspapers with a photo of the deceased,Hanif Qureshi from Zanda Chowk also rushed to Silvassa police station to claim the body. They said the deceased was Yusuf Shaikh,who was single and was living in the Vachhipa Dargah where he worked as caretaker.

Silvassa police was in a dilemma as they had already handed over the body to Vijay and Kishan. Police told Hanif that the body was that of Shanker and not Yusuf.

On Thursday,December 19,Shanker walked into his house in the afternoon. Vijay,Kishan and their mother Jamna were shocked,and surprised,to see him alive. The neighbours were also shocked to see Shanker marching towards his house.

On learnig of Shanker’s arrival,Silvassa police called him to the police station in the evening. The policemen were also shocked to see Shanker alive. Upon questioning he disclosed that he was working as a labour in a farmhouse in Umargam and had just returned.

Meanwhile,on hearing the news Hanif Qureshi and a few friends also reached the police station.

According to Sub-Inspector Jagdish Patel of Silvass police station,“We suspect that the deceased might be Yusuf Shaikh,whose body was cremated. Vijay and Kishan came first to claim the body and we cross examined them and even spoke to a few others,before handing over the body. Hanif Qureshi and others came the next day but it was too late. The facial features of both are similar and it was difficult to judge. Yusuf (45) is unmarried and alone,he hails from Maliyadhara village in Chikhli taluka of Navsari district and had been staying in Vachhipa Dargah for the last 15 years. We are carrying out further investigations.”

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