4 hours of frenzy as TV crew leaves fake dead body in Mumbai nullah

Based on information from residents, police suspect that the carelessness of a crime-based reality TV show’s production team could be behind the scare

The fire brigade and police officials had to deploy a ladder to fish out the package from the filthy nullah. Pics/Nimesh Dave
The fire brigade and police officials had to deploy a ladder to fish out the package from the filthy nullah. Pics/Nimesh Dave

Still recovering from the sensational murders of Hema Upadhyay and Harish Bhambani, the residents of Charkop in Kandivli are extremely wary of another gory crime. It makes sense then that when one of the locals spotted what looked like a body wrapped in cloth floating in Charkop nullah on Friday morning, reinforcements — police and fire brigade —were immediately called in.

This led to high drama as a search and rescue operation, which went on for four-long hours, was mounted by the two services, but which ended in a damp squib: It was just a pile of dry grass.

After the package was spotted floating, locals called in the police and the fire brigade. After four hours, the object was fished out, and on opening, it was discovered to be filled with dry grass
After the package was spotted floating, locals called in the police and the fire brigade. After four hours, the object was fished out, and on opening, it was discovered to be filled with dry grass

Who spotted it?
On Friday at 8.30 am, locals of Ambe Mata Mandir sector 6 in Charkop spotted the body floating and as news spread, droves of people gathered to follow its movement. In the meantime, the police control room was informed.

"Word spread like wildfire. And since it was exactly wrapped in a shape of a human body, curiosity took over," said Bhiva Jadhav, one of the eyewitnesses.

Jump to action
Both the Charkop police official and the fire brigade team reached the spot within minutes of each other. Since the body was in too deep, they had to make use of a ladder in the treacherous marshy area to pull it out. "The thing was very heavy and it was highly suspected that there could be a body in it. Some of our men entered the nullah and pulled out the body from between the heap of rubbish. The Charkop police is handling further in investigation," said RB Dhande, in charge of the Kandivli Fire station.

This whole affair took four hours so there was obvious palpable excitement and dread amongst the crowd that had gathered to see what would finally emerge from this 'package'. And as that cloth was cut open, out came a pile of dry grass, leading to the crowd immediately bursting into peals of laughter.

"During enquiries, it finally came to light that recently, a real life crime thriller serial had been shot there and the effigy was a prop to recreate the crime scene. They had mistakenly floated it in the nullah," said ACP Shrirang Nadahoda from Malwani division. Turns out, after playing its role in the shoot, the package itself became the centre of its very own thriller.

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