For five days, family and friends of 22-year-old Pravish Chanam looked for him in hospitals, police stations and around India Expo Mart, until they found that his body had been found near a meat market in Nithari a day after he went missing. With no documents to identify the body and no one claiming it, Chanam’s body was cremated 72 hours after it was found. The post-mortem report stated “shock and haemorrhage due to head injury” as the cause of death. On Friday, his family met senior officers of Gautam Buddha Nagar police and alleged that there were “serious lapses” on part of police and hospital staff.
Gautam Buddha Nagar police suspended a constable, a sub-inspector and a chowki in-charge on charges of negligence and dereliction of duty, and moved the SHO of Knowledge Park police station, under whose jurisdiction the incident occurred, to the police lines. A second-year undergraduate student in Imphal, Chanam had arrived from Hyderabad to attend a concert in Greater Noida on September 8.
On Friday, Chanam’s brother Ravikanta said, “The missing complaint was lodged on September 9 but… no active effort was put in by police.” He alleged that details of the missing complaint was not shared by Knowledge Park police with the control room. “Due to sheer negligence, the body could not be claimed on time,” Ravikanta said.
Gautam Buddha Nagar SSP Love Kumar, said, “As far as coordination between police stations is concerned, a departmental inquiry has been started and action has been taken against four police officers. The second part of the case relates to what happened to the person once he left the hospital, and until his body was found. Our teams are investigating.”
Hospital documents show Chanam was brought in on September 8 night in a “semi-conscious state”; he had “alcoholic smell present in breath” and showed “seizure-like movement” at the time. “At 6.30 am on September 9, he left the emergency ward, after which he went missing again,” Ravikanta claimed.
As the family went looking for Chanam in the hospital vicinity, they were informed that “a body had been found near the hospital on September 9 and sent for post-mortem”, Ravikanta said.
“We were told that post-mortem was done on September 11. After waiting for 72 hours, as per procedure, they disposed off the body since no one claimed it.”
The postmortem report said “shock and haemorrhage due to head injury” led to death.