THE BODY of 24-year-old Ankur Shukla, who died on November 16 reportedly after accidentally falling into the sea in United Arab Emirates, is lying unclaimed at a morgue in Moradabad since Wednesday. The reason: His family has alleged that the body, which was beyond recognition, was not of Ankur’s.
To confirm the identity of the deceased, the family has demanded that a DNA profiling be conducted by a Delhi-based and government approved private laboratory. Following this, samples have been collected by laboratory staff on Wednesday evening. The family has also requested the Moradabad police to get a postmortem examination done on the body to find out the exact cause of death.
Ankur’s brother-in-law Sanyog Vashist claimed the body was beyond recognition due to swelling. Dr S P Shukla, Ankur’s father, who is a teacher in a private college, said: “We will take possession of the body only after the DNA report comes as positive. We also want to know how the death occurred.”
A native of Moradabad, Ankur was working with a private firm as seaman on a ship that was on way to Sharjah from Dubai when he died.
Vashist said they have been told by crewmen of the ship that on the afternoon of November 16, Ankur was speaking to someone on his cellphone when he accidentally fell into the sea. Two persons jumped to rescue him, but failed to trace him. Following search operation for two days, Ankur’s body was reportedly fished out from the sea.
“We were informed about the accident the same day by a crew member. We immediately contacted the Uttarakhand-based agency through which Ankur was sent on the ship. The agency’s staff coordinated with their contacts in Sharjah and made arrangements to bring the body from Sharjah,” he added.
However, due to some holiday in Sharjah and pending paper work, the body reached Moradabad on Wednesday. On seeing the body, Ankur’s parents refused to take possession of it.
“From appearance, the body does not appear to be of my son. A Delhi-based government approved DNA forensic laboratory has taken sample for DNA profiling. We have also requested the local police to get a postmortem conducted. If any of the two reports raise doubt, we will seek Union government’s intervention,” said Ankur’s father.
“We believe someone else’s body has been sent to us and Ankur is still alive,” he added. Ankur, who was unmarried, is third among the four children of S P Shukla.
Moradabad CMO Dr Sanjeev Yadav said a postmortem examination will be conducted only after directions from the police. When contacted, Moradabad SSP Nitin Tiwari said Ankur’s father has requested him to get a postmortem done. “It will be done after a few formalities are completed,” he added.