There was absolute mayhem at Manjari Budruk on Thursday, as an alarming rumour spread through the neighbourhood alleging that one of the residents had buried his six-year-old son alive while in an inebriated state.
The spot where neighbours feared Arvind Bhalerao had buried his six-year-old son, Ashwin (below) alive
The rumour spread like wildfire, until it reached the ears of officers at the Hadapsar police station, who immediately began interrogating the father and his neighbours, and exhumed the child’s body for a post mortem. Investigations later revealed however, that the child was suffering from cancer, and had passed away before his father could take him to the hospital.
The deceased boy was identified as Ashwin Bhalerao, and his father as Arvind Bhalerao (45). Neighbours reported that Arvind, who works as a labourer, was an alcoholic, and that was why his wife had left him six months ago. When women in the locality heard that Ashwin had passed away and was buried by his father, they feared that he had been buried alive instead.
The police arrived on the scene and began interrogating Arvind, as well as his neighbours. Arvind took them to the spot he had buried his son, and the police exhumed the body and sent it for post mortem. The preserved viscera will be sent to a forensic lab for further analysis. While no death certificate was issued, doctors said, prima facie, the post mortem indicated a natural death.
Police Inspector Rajendra Mohite, in-charge of Hadapsar police station said, “Ashwin was suffering from some kind of cancer for the past three years and was undergoing medical treatment. On Wednesday night, Ashwin started feeling uneasy and his father decided to take him to the hospital on Thursday morning. Arvind left his home around 6 am, but as he reached a nearby bus stop, Ashwin breathed his last.”
“When Arvind realised that Ashwin had died, he scrapped his plan to go to the hospital and informed some residents in the area of the death. They gave him a cloth, money and other materials to bury the dead body. After that he took Ashwin near Manjari Crematorium and buried him around 7.30 am. At that time, Arvind was accompanied by four others,” said PI Mohite.
He added, “When Arvind returned home without Ashwin, some women in the locality asked about his whereabouts. When Arvind told them about his death, the women feared that Arvind in an inebriated state had buried Ashwin alive. This sparked the rumours there.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) Manoj Patil said, “Presently we have registered a case of accidental death in this case. We have asked to preserve the viscera of Ashwin and final decision in this case will be taken after we receive a report about it. The dead body of Ashwin has been handed over to his father.” Arvind has two other children — an elder daughter who stays at a hostel in Wadgaon Sheri, and another son who lives with him.