Body goes missing from coach of Mumbai-UP train | Mumbai News – Times of India


MUMBAI: A family from Mumbai carrying the body of a relative to Prayagraj by train was in for a shock on Monday when it discovered on reaching the destination that the body had gone missing from the coffin that had been placed in the Mumbai-Varanasi Special Expresss ‘guard’ compartment.
After a 12-hour search, the body was found 200km away, on the tracks near Maihar station in MP.
However, questions about how it got out remain: the Railway Protection Force feels the coffin turned over in an empty compartment and the body fell off, while the family blames railways for negligence, and activists fear train robbers who ‘steal bodies’ might have been involved.
The family said there were injury marks all over the body of Sarwari Shaikh, 56. Shaikh, from Pratapgarh in Prayagraj, suffered from cancer and had been under treatment at Tata Memorial Hospital from July.
Woman’s family and undertakers say coffin was fitted with screws
A woman’s body went missing from a coffin on a train to Varanasi and was later found 200 km away. Sarwari Shaikh’s son, Gulfam Shaikh, who works in a loom in Bhiwandi, had in July brought her to the city. She was staying at a relative’s place in Dharavi and undergoing treatment at Tata Memorial Hospital. On Sunday morning she passed away. Her family members decided to take her body to their native place for the funeral and had engaged Tirumala Undertakers. The family submitted all the documents, including the death certificate, from BMC to transport the body by train.
At 9 pm on Monday, when the family alighted at Prayagraj and went to claim the body from the ‘guard’ compartment-—which is in the front of a train, with guards stationed often at the back—they found the coffin lightweight and hence opened it. They immediately alerted the railway police about the missing body. Senior GRP officials visited the spot and sent a message to the main control room as well as to all the major railway stations where the train had halted.
A complaint was lodged, and after nearly 25 railway stations and tracks along the route were examined, police found the body lying on the tracks near Maihar station, 202 km away. An RPF team took possession of the body at Maihar on Tuesday afternoon and handed it to the family in Prayagraj late evening.
“As procedure, we adopted the method which prevents decomposition of a body for 24 to 30 hours and loaded it in the special express for Varanasi,” said an official from Tirumala.
The railways blamed the family. “Bodies are normally carried in the front guard room and as per rules, one of the relatives has to be near it. In this case, neither any relative nor guard was present. We suspect that as the bogie was empty, the coffin may have moved and the body may have fallen off the train,” said the inspector of Maihar RPF who idenfitied himself only as Rawat.
The family as well as Tirumala Undertakers rubbished the RPF’s claims. “We packed the body in the coffin with screws fitted in all corners, so there is no question of the body automatically falling off the moving train,” said an official from the undertakers.
Activist Imran Khan from Wadala, who has taken up the cause of the family, said, “It is shocking railways have not taken cognisance of the incident. This is a case of mischief by some robber or a racket involved in stealing bodies, which RPF should investigate.” Ansar Ahmed, a relative of the family, said, “It has been a horrifying experience. We never thought the railways would be so careless.”

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