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Man shocked to find cops buried missing dad as ‘unclaimed’
Murugesan (69), who lived with his wife Rani and son Pandurangan in Rajiv Gandhi Street, went out for a walk on May 17 but did not return home.
Exposing gaping holes in communication protocol on missing persons between neighbouring police stations, a senior citizen from Maduravoyal who went missing after he stepped out of his home on May 17, ended up buried as an unclaimed body even after his son had filed a police complaint immediately and had been frantically searching for him for over a month.
Murugesan (69), who lived with his wife Rani and son Pandurangan in Rajiv Gandhi Street, went out for a walk on May 17 but did not return home. Since he had slight visual impairment, Pandurangan lodged a missing complaint the very next day at the Maduravoyal police station.
According to police, the details of the missing persons were allegedly shared with all police stations as well as crime records bureau immediately. As per their advice, Pandurangan also stuck posters of his missing father in the hope of tracing him for the next several weeks.
About a month later, when Pandurangan went to the Valasaravakkam police station to put up posters of his missing father, he was shocked to find a police poster on unclaimed bodies with his father’s photograph on it. When he went inside to enquire, more shocking details awaited him as he came to know that his father had been buried in a mass burial the same day.
“My father was found dead in Valasaravakkam on May 25, a week after he went missing. Valasaravakkam police did not follow procedure to give information about the death of unknown persons in their jurisdiction to all the police stations. If they had done so, Maduravoyal police would have informed me about my father’s death. They also ignored the missing-person information shared by Maduravoyal police. Both stations are located close to each other though they fall under different police districts. Proper communication between them could have saved my father’s life or at least in him getting a decent burial,” Pandurangan told DT Next.
When contacted, Valasaravakkam police refuted the allegation but admitted that there was a bit of a delay in sending information about the deceased person to Crime Records Bureau. “The Poonamallee magistrate on Wednesday ordered the Tahsildar that Murugesan’s body should be exhumed and handed over to Pandurangan. It will be done on Thursday,” said an official. Now, Pandurangan is running from post to pillar to fulfil his father’s last wish to bury him in his hometown Vandavasi in Tiruvannamalai.