Neighbours slam sons who ignored rich Govandi beggar for 15 years

Updated: Oct 10, 2019, 07:35 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

As police hand over Biradichand Azad's body to his sons, neighbours who had cared for him for several years slam his family

Biradichand's sons surrounded by his neighbours
Biradichand's sons surrounded by his neighbours

The neighbours of lakhpati beggar Biradichand Azad surrounded his sons as soon as they showed up at his shanty in Govandi on Wednesday, ripping into the men for coming to collect his body and money, after ignoring him for years. The locals told the sons that they had taken care of the solitary man for years. "Sons who didn't show up for the past 15 years are now showing love for their father," they taunted the five men.

"Children who didn't turn up for the past 15 years are showing love for their father. In fact, Biradichand Azad had renounced his family, saying they don't deserve him and lived a solitary life. We took care of him and fed him. Now the brothers have gathered to claim his body. Everyone knows why they are here," said 65-year-old Jamaluddin Manjoor Hafiz or Hafiz chacha, who took care of Azad for the past 35 years. Azad stayed in a hut next to Hafiz chacha's house.

Biradichand, a beggar in his 70s, died after he was mowed down by a Harbour local between Govandi and Mankhurd on October 4. The Vashi Government Railway Police (GRP), investigating the case, inquired about him around the place where the accident took place and people took them to his hut at Tata Nagar, Govandi located besides track.

The police found Rs 1.77 lakh in coins and fixed deposits worth Rs 8.77 lakh, nominating Biradichand's elder son Sukhdevram, in the hut. The GRP managed to track his sons and asked them to claim his body. All his five sons turned up at Vashi Railway Police station on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Azad's sons also went to his hut where his neighbours gathered to see them. "I was Azad's friend for past 35 years. He had renounced not only his sons and family but his surname too. About 15 years ago, when his son Sawarmal came to my place, Azad had refused to acknowledge him and asked me to kick him out," said Hafiz chacha. "Still I asked Sawarmal to stay for a couple of days more, but Azad didn't pay any attention to him, and Sawarmal went back and never returned," he added. Hafiz chacha waited till Azad's body was taken in an ambulance from Rajawadi mortuary. He bid a tearful adieu to him. "I feel very sad for him. Hope he finds peace now," he said.

Neighbours taunt sons

Kalicharan Panigrahi, a neighbour of Azad said, "Where were these kids when their father was sitting at railway stations for hours, and random people threw Re 1 or Rs 2 at him? That old man was lying in a mortuary without identification. When they found their father had left some money, all of them rushed here."

Saeeda Bibi, another neighbour said, "As (Azad) was getting old, he too had issues with temper. But he was lovable and we trusted him. We never knew he had a family." When Biradichand's sons arrived at his hut, local residents taunted them and passed remarks about their behaviour. The police present at the spot asked the sons to leave before someone became violent.

"The residents were very angry with the way Azad's children had behaved. Considering their wrath we asked the sons to leave as soon as possible. After due processing and documentation, we handed over the body to the sons on Wednesday evening. It will be taken to Rajasthan for last rites," Nandkishore Saste, senior inspector, Vashi GRP.

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