A Manipur man, who had been missing since September 8 night from Greater Noida, was found to have been cremated by the police three days later without informing his family members, even though the family had filed a missing person’s report on September 9.

While three policemen have been suspended for failing to inform the control room about the missing person’s report filed at the police station, the death of 22-year-old Pravish Chanam under mysterious circumstances, followed by the cremation of his body “in a hurry”, has created huge outrage.

Demanding justice, Pravish Chanam’s brother explains what’s known about the fateful night of September 8 and what happened during police investigation.

My brother, Pravish Chanam, came from Hyderabad to Delhi on September 7, 2017, and stayed at C-49, Top Floor, Arjun Nagar, Safdarjung Enclave, Delhi, at the residence of one Ashok Thounaojam.

On September 8, 2017, he along with his friends, namely, Ashok Thounaojam, Teresa and Sachin went to attend a concert at Knowledge Park, India Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida. As informed by his friend Ashok, Pravish was found to be missing from the venue. Ashok reportedly took Pravish’s phone and wallet and put it in his bag fearing Pravish might lose it in the crowd. As per Ashok’s statement all of them agreed to meet at Gate No. 3 of the aforementioned venue if they got separated in the crowd after the concert was over.

Ashok and his friends further stated that after the concert was over, they could not find Pravish. It was also claimed by his fellow friends that they looked for him inside the compound of the Expo Centre for about 3 (three) hours after the concert was over. In the further statement of Pravish’s friends, they claimed to have left the venue with Pravish’s phone and wallet assuming that Pravish would have gone with his other friends. After which on the very next day, i.e, September 9, 2017, Ashok informed me, Ravi Kanta Chanam on the phone that Pravish was missing since the previous night. Immediately after that, I went to the Knowledge Park Police Station to file a missing complaint around 3pm of 9th September 2017.

2) Even after filing the missing complaint on September 9, Gasti Talaash Gumshuda was prepared on September 11 to circulate to the nearby police stations and other public places.

3) On September 12, after the intervention from the Superintendent of Police (SP) Surajpur, the SHO-Knowledge Park was directed to interrogate all of Pravish’s friends who interacted with Pravish during the concert. The SP also directed the organizer of the concert, one Amit Solanki, to also provide the CCTV footage of the place where the entry and exit gates were. Later that day, following the instructions of the SP, the SHO asked the family members of Pravish to call all of his friends who interacted with him during the concert.

4) On September 13, 10 friends showed up while Ashok, Teresa and Sachin (his three friends who accompanied him to the concert) did not turn up for reasons unknown. On the same day, after the completion of the interrogation, the SHO informed me that Pravish was admitted to Bhim Rao Ambedkar Hospital, Sector 30 Noida. When enquired about the authenticity of the information, the SHO showed us a video clip of Pravish being taken inside the said hospital in a stretcher.

Soon after, I along with my family and friends rushed to the hospital on the same day and reached around 7:30 pm. On reaching the hospital, we were told by the Medical Officer (MO), Emergency Ward, that Pravish was admitted under the identity as ‘unknown’ on the ‘Bahirang Rogi Register’ entry no. 29328/39, dated 09/09/2017, 12:45 am. However, the details of how Pravish reached the hospital from the venue of the concert located at a distance of 29 kms still remain unclear.

The MO also informed that Pravish left the premises on September 9, early morning without informing anyone. We then requested the MO to give access to the CCTV footage of September 8 & 9 which he readily accepted. After seeing the CCTV footage, we came to know that Pravish was brought to the hospital on a stretcher at 10:29 pm of September 8 and the entry was done on 09/09/2017, 12:45 am. On September 9, at 6:30 am Pravish left the hospital Emergency Ward. And after this point of time, Pravish went missing again. Fearing that he might be wandering in the nearby area, I along with my family and friends went to the Police Chowki, Nithari, PS Sector 39, Noida and PS Sector 20, Noida. In the mentioned police stations, we enquired about Pravish by showing his photo. However, everyone declined to have seen him. At this crucial time, some police personnel posted at Sector 20, Noida taunted some of my friends who had gone to ask about Pravish and were sent away.

5) On September 14, 2017, following the previous night’s information gathered from the hospital, we came early to look for Pravish in the nearby area of the said hospital and to file another missing complaint at PS Sector 20, Noida. During the search, we first went to Police Chowki, Nithari again and met a constable who hinted that a dead body was found nearby the hospital on September 9. The same body according to the constable was sent for post mortem to the same hospital. He further informed that the details could only be provided by Sub-Inspector, Rakesh Babu, In-charge Police Chowki, Nithari. On the arrival of Sub-Inspector, Rakesh Babu at around 11 am, he showed the photo of the body that they found which turn out to be that of my brother, Pravish. He further informed that a call was received from one person saying that a body was lying nearby Raj Motors, Murga Market, Nithari, Sector 31, Noida.

Following which he informed us that the body was brought by a PCR van in an unconscious condition and was taken to Bhim Rao Ambedkar Hospital on September 9 at 5:30 pm. He stated that the doctor declared him brought dead and the formalities were done as per the procedure. He also informed us that the postmortem was done on September 11 and after waiting for 72 hours, the hospital authorities disposed off (cremated) the body as there was no one to claim the body. He further stated that he informed through District Crime Record Bureau (DCRB) and also claimed that the information was published in local newspapers.

If so, then, considering point no. 4 and 5, the hospital authorities are obliged to inform us about the presence of Pravish’s body in the hospital mortuary and their decision to cremate the body on the same day that we arrived to enquire about Pravish, i.e., September 13.

After having obtained the ‘cremation certificate’, we found out that the dead body of Pravish was present in the hospital for the last three days and was cremated on the very same day we enquired about him. The said certificate was dated September 13, with no mention of timing of the cremation. This is straightforwardly a case of concealing the crucial and necessary information.

6) In the Post-Mortem report dated 11/09/17, 4 pm, report no. 895/17, it clearly mentions that the cause of death was “shock and hemorrhage due to head injury”. Also, the MLC report recorded on September 9, 12:45 am, when he was first admitted to Bhim Rao Ambedkar hospital stated an injury on the right leg (abrasion size: 3 cm X 2 cm) caused “by hard and blunt object”. Further, the post-mortem report included the following observations of the injuries which included:

1. Abrated Contusion, size 24.0 cm X 14.0 cm
2. Traumatic Swelling, size 5.0 cm X 3.0 cm
3. Abrated Contusion, size 4.0 cm X 3 cm
4. Abrated Contusion, size 47cm X 17 cm
5. Abrated Contusion, size 5 cm X 4 cm
6. Abrated Contusion, size 4 cm X 3 cm

The police, despite being aware of the post-mortem report failed to initiate any further investigation on this matter. Also, there cannot be any justification for cremating the body in such a short period of time, despite the body bearing serious injuries and an already existing missing complaint lodged at the nearby Police Station.

Following lapses were observed during the entire incident:-

  • After lodging the missing complaint on 9th September, the ‘Gasti Talaash Gumshuda’ was prepared on September 11 by the IO Raman Upadhyay, PS, Knowledge Park, Greater Noida.
  • No active effort was put in by the police to find my brother, despite timely lodging of a missing complaint and personally visiting the PS daily since the filing of missing complaint.
  • Despite making the pamphlets (Gasti Talaash Gumshuda) on September 11 at PS Knowledge Park by the IO for immediate dissemination to the rest Zilla PS, Chowkis and media, the IO failed to circulate the same.
  • Moreover, details of the complaint lodged were not shared with PS Sector-20, Noida or Police Chowki, Nithari.
  • The In-Charge, Nithari also failed to check with the nearby police stations about any missing complaints after finding a body.
  • The In-Charge, Nithari further failed to publish any information regarding the body that was found in any of the newspapers.
  • Because of sheer negligence from both the sides (PS Knowledge Park and Police Chowki Nithari), the body could not be claimed on time.
  • There was negligence on the part of the Hospital (Bhim Rao Ambedkar Hospital) authorities, as after being admitted on the September 8, the patient walks off from the hospital premises without being discharged.

The series of events mentioned above clearly point to the presence of criminal intent leading to the death of my brother, Pravish Chanam. I and my family and friends demand a thorough investigation by the CBI to bring justice to my deceased brother and the bereaved family. We also demand strict actions against all the officials responsible for the lapses. We further demand appropriate and timely action against the culprits.

Ravikanta Chanam is brother of Pravish Chanam who went missing on September 8, 2017 and later police informed that his body was cremated before the relatives could claim it.

The News Mill couldn’t independently verify the claim made by the author. He can be reached through: 9205400732/9560527466

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