Mumbai: Two weeks after suicide, no one claims ex-model's body
It’s been a fortnight since former model Archana Pandey committed suicide in her Lokhandwala flat, leaving behind a suicide note stating that her boyfriend and another woman had left her when she needed them the most. The sense of abandonment that led her to commit suicide seems to have followed her even in death.
Archana’s body has been lying in Cooper Hospital since September 29 because no one has come forward to claim it. Police say that no one in Archana’s immediate family is alive except her brother Ashwin, who has not been able to claim her body because he is imprisoned in Baroda jail for his involvement in a Rs 78-crore scam.
The Versova police have written a letter to the prison authorities and moved an application in Andheri court seeking Ashwin’s release so that he can conduct Archana’s last rites, but they have not received a reply.
“Archana Pandey’s body is still lying in the morgue. We had sought permission from Andheri court to ask Baroda jail officials to release her brother to conduct her final rites, but did not get a reply.
We also wrote to the Baroda jail superintendent, but to no avail. We have no option but to keep her body in the morgue,” said Senior Police Inspector, Arundhati Rane from Versova police station.
Sources from Cooper Hospital told mid-day that Archana’s body is in their possession and they cannot release it without a no-objection certificate from the local police. They said all the formalities are complete and they are waiting for someone to come and claim her body.
The decomposing body of the 26-year-old former model was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her apartment in Lokhandwala, Andheri (West), on September 29. Police had found a suicide note, which said that she was taking the extreme step because her boyfriend, Umar Pathan, and a woman named Sana had abandoned her when she needed them the most. Based on the suicide note, the police had booked Pathan and arrested him earlier this month.
Officers said that Archana, who stayed alone in the city, had taken up work as a finance consultant for a production company after she quit modelling in 2009. They added that while she was earning well and did not have any financial problems, she had been suffering from depression after her brother Ashwin was arrested by the Gujarat Crime Branch in an international scam.
A month ago, Archana had registered a case of kidnapping, thinking Ashwin had gone missing, but realised later that he had been arrested in a Rs 78-crore scam and R76 lakh had been found in his bank account. Archana had been making frequent rounds to Gujarat to get Ashwin out on bail, but had failed to do so.
She had requested Pathan to help her out, but he had allegedly been avoiding her. Officers said that they had recovered Archana’s phone and found that she had contacted Pathan before she committed suicide and sent him a photo, saying that this was her last photo and he would not be seeing her from now on.