A body, found on the railway tracks in Navi Mumbai last week, was Thursday identified to be that of a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporator from Nerul who had been reported missing four days ago.
Shashikala Maladi, an NCP corporator from Navi Mumbai, was staying with her family in Nerul, the police said. Investigators are probing whether she committed suicide. Her family has told the police that she was under depression, owing to problems in her political career.
According to the Vashi Railway Police, the body was found on the tracks between Mankhurd and Govandi railway stations on September 23.
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“The body was in one piece, but had injuries on it, consistent with being hit by a moving train. She seems to have been flung to one side after being hit by a train. We had, at the time, registered an accidental death report (ADR). We did not find a suicide note or any documents, indicating the identity of the body,” said Senior Police Inspector Nitin Bobade, Vashi Railway Police.
On September 28, Maladi’s family, after trying to locate her for five days, finally approached the Nerul police and registered a missing person’s complaint. As part of inquiries, the Nerul police sent out a wireless alert, asking for information about any body of a woman, matching Maladi’s description, in Navi Mumbai and neighbouring areas. The Vashi Railway Police responded to their query with information about the body found on September 23.
Maladi’s relatives had told the Nerul police that she had left her residence on September 23 and had not been reachable since, which was another
indicator that the body might be hers.
On Thursday, her son approached the Vashi Railway Police. They showed him photographs of the body and he identified it as his mother’s.
“Maladi’s son has said, in his statement, that she had declared herself as belonging to the OBC category in her pre-election declaration and it was later challenged by her political rivals. The matter was under dispute and it had caused her a lot of stress. There were also some other political disputes that she had been embroiled in, recently, which had led to her being under depression. We are making further inquiries into the matter,” said Bobade.