Virar hit-and-run case: Cops bury victim, while kin file missing complaint

The Ansaris, from Bhiwandi, allege that cops exhibited a lackadaisical approach in identifying the deceased, about whom the family had registered a missing person’s complaint in the same police station

The family of a 22-year man, whose body was buried by officials from the Virar police station, accused them of negligence.

One of the family members performing last rites on Zakaulla Ansari’s grave at the crematorium in Virar. Pic/Nimesh DaveOne of the family members performing last rites on Zakaulla Ansari’s grave at the crematorium in Virar. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Members of the Ansari family claimed that the Virar cops failed to cross-check their missing person’s complaint with their own records, as it would had helped them trace the deceased’s family before performing the last rites on the body.

The incident
The deceased, identified as Bhiwandi resident Zakaulla Ansari, had come to Virar with his family on March 21 for a community gathering (Ijtema). While Zakaulla left early the next day, the remaining family members were supposed to return home by evening.

It was around 11 am while returning home that Zakaulla was run over by a truck at Bhatpada Naka, Virar (West). According to the police, the eyewitnesses said the truck driver fled the spot with the vehicle.

They registered an Accidental Death Report (ADR) in the case and sent the body for a post-mortem to the rural hospital after they failed to ascertain the man’s identity. When Zakaulla failed to reach home the next day, the Ansaris went to the Virar police station to register a missing person’s complaint.

However, they did not carry his photograph along, following which the police asked them to come back with his photo and register a proper complaint. However, the police did not inform the Ansaris about the body they had sent for post-mortem.

Though the Ansaris visited the police station on March 27, their complaint was finally lodged on March 29. Meanwhile, the cops sent Zakaulla’s body to a crematorium, where it was buried on April 4.

‘Indifferent cops’
Zakaulla’s family once again visited the police station after they were informed about the March 22 accident by one of their relatives. The relative informed them that the victim was in his early 20s and that the family should check with the police about the incident. The family inquired with the cops about the same.

On April 8, the family members identified Zakaulla from the clothes the cops had collected as evidence. Following the body’s identification, the Ansaris went to the crematorium where Zakaulla was buried, and performed the last rites as per their customs.

“The police should have verified all the details we provided them about Zakaulla. But they didn’t even bother to cross-check. We couldn’t even give our son a proper burial. The cops should have searched thoroughly,” said one of the family members.

The other side
Senior Inspector Sunil Mane, from Virar police station, said, “After registering an ADR, we sent the body for the post-mortem to the rural hospital. In the autopsy report, the doctors mentioned that the deceased seemed to be in his mid-30s. The difference in the age provided by the family and that by the doctors was massive.

Hence, we didn’t inform the family and sent the body for burial. It’s a clear case of hit-and-run, which was registered on the spot after recording statements of the eyewitnesses. We immediately handed over the body’s custody to family after its identity was ascertained.”

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