Around 11 am on Sunday, Ram Khare — a forest guard at Sanjay Gandhi National Park — was patrolling the Rishivan area next to the entrance of the lion safari, when he noticed a fresh grave shrouded with a cloth. Khare, who guessed someone had murdered a woman and buried her at the spot, panicked and contacted his superiors.
“I thought I had heard two animals fighting in the vicinity so I went to Rishivan. There I spotted this grave covered by a white cloth. I was alarmed and immediately reported it to my bosses,” said Khare.
Hounded by a grave
Khare’s superior at the forest office S Bhagwat gave a call to the police control room and informed Kasturba Marg police station. Ten minutes later 7-8 cops had reached the spot. After conducting the initial panchnama for 45 minutes, Kasturba Marg policemen realised the area was not under their jurisdiction. They then called up Dahisar police station. 10-12 officers from there rushed to the spot, saw the grave, and after a discussion with Kasturba Marg police station officers for over half an hour, conducted the panchnama and called for diggers to exhume the body.
At 3 pm labourers excavated the grave to find a pink cloth buried under a deposit of sea salt. When that layer was removed, officers discovered a body wrapped in another pink sheet and adorned with garlands, vermillion etc.
“Assessing the dimensions of the corpse, we assumed it was a child,” said PI Vijay Kadam, from Dahisar police station. “However, on unwrapping it, we found a dead dog,” he added.
Dahisar police is now seeking the person who buried the canine near the lion safari – that falls within the national park – to find out whether he has committed trespass. Cops have clicked photos for evidence and buried the dog again.
About their digging work, police officers said they did not want to take any chances as in a similar case in October last year, the body of a 20-year-old man was found buried at Aarey Colony jungle.