Ragpicker buried inside his hutment upon death; cops deny it s due to poverty

BHAGALPUR (Bihar), May 25: A 30-year-old   Ragpicker who died here recently was given a quiet burial by his relatives inside the hutment where he lived.

The police, which got the body exhumed and cremated while preserving the viscera for further investigations, dismissed claims of the family of the deceased that they took the step because of inability to afford a proper funeral.

Guddu Mandal, who was said to be suffering from epileptic fits besides addiction to drugs, was found dead inside his hut on Saturday morning, Inspector in-charge of the Ishakchak police station Sanjay Kumar Sudhanshu said.

He said the deceased lived alone, his wife having abandoned him soon after their marriage 10 years ago, with some relatives staying in the vicinity.

“Locals say he was epileptic and took some narcotic substances. On Friday, he was spotted by people of the area frothing at his mouth and retching during the daytime though relatives claim his condition showed improvement in the night,” the inspector said.

Soon after he was found dead, Mandals relatives dug up the ground on which the hut of the deceased stood and buried the body deep inside.

“A neighbour informed the police station within hours and we rushed to the spot and got the body exhumed and took it to the cremation ghat where the last rites were performed,” Sudhanshu said.

Some neighbours suspected that he might have been murdered by relatives following a tiff and the body was buried to erase the evidence, the inspector said.

“We have not registered a murder case so far but have preserved the viscera and further action may be taken if reports point towards foul play,” he said.

Mental illness seems to run in the family of the deceased as none of his relatives appeared sound during interrogation, Sudhanshu said.

“Some did claim that they were too poor to afford a cremation so did whatever they could within their means. But the claim does not sound credible.

“None of the neighbours was approached by them for help nor did they try to inform the civic authorities. Help is extended in such cases without charging a paise. But strangely they never sought help. Investigations are on,” said the inspector. (PTI)