After 20 days, former Mumbai model finally gets a proper goodbye

Following mid-day’s report about Archana Pandey’s body languishing in a morgue since her suicide came to light on September 29, Commissioner Rakesh Maria intervened and ensured her jailed brother got parole to perform her last rites

Following the mid-day report about former model Archana Pandey’s body lying in the Cooper Hospital morgue for more than a fortnight (‘Even death fails to bring respite to ex-model abandoned in life’, October 18), Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria intervened and ensured that her final rites were carried out by her brother yesterday.

RIP: Archana Pandey
RIP: Archana Pandey

After she committed suicide, Archana’s decomposing body had been found hanging from a ceiling fan in her Lokhandwala flat on September 29. Her body had been lying at Cooper Hospital since then because no one had come forward to claim it.

mid-day’s report on Saturday
mid-day’s report on Saturday

No one in Archana’s immediate family is alive, except her younger brother Ashwin, who had not been able to claim her body because he was imprisoned in Baroda jail for his involvement in a Rs 78-crore scam.

The Versova police had written a letter to the prison authorities and moved an application in Andheri court seeking Ashwin’s release so that he could conduct Archana’s last rites, but they had not received a reply.

After the mid-day report, however, Commissioner Maria spoke to authorities in Baroda and Ashwin got a three-day parole from the Baroda jail superintendent. He was brought to Mumbai late on Sunday and he performed Archana’s last rites yesterday.

“Around 2 pm on Monday, Archana Pandey’s final rites were performed in Oshiwara Hindu Shamshan Bhoomi in Behrambaug. Her body was cremated in an electric crematory. A team of four police officers had come with Ashwin and they were slated to take him back to Baroda jail on Monday evening,” said an official from the Versova police.

“After the report of her body languishing in the morgue was published in the media, Commissioner Rakesh Maria took the initiative to ensure that her final rites were performed. We had sought permission from Andheri Court and written to Baroda Jail officials earlier, but we had not got a reply,” he added.

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