A 36-year-old man, whose “body” was being flown to Malappuram from Lucknow, returned home this morning just as his family members were engaged in arranging for his final rites.
According to police, Mohammad Ashraf, father of five children, had recently gone to Jeddah in search of a job and was deported by the Saudi authorities to Lucknow on August 13 after he was found to be overstaying there.
While Ashraf reached Lucknow by an Air India flight, he soon found that his passport was missing and decided to reach here by train, the sources said.
Meanwhile, mistaking the body of an unidentified person at the airport to be that of Ashraf after his passport was traced on the premises, Lucknow passport authorities rang up Ashraf’s house to inform them about his “demise” and that his body was being sent to Malappuram.
However, before the flight could arrive at Karipur airport at the scheduled time of 6.15 am, Ashraf reached home by 5.30 am taking everyone by shock and surprise.
Ashraf’s father had even made arrangements through a notary to receive his son’s body on its arrival at the airport while his family members were busy arranging Ashraf’s burial.
After Lucknow passport officials were informed that Ashaf had returned home, arrangements were made to take the unidentified person’s body back to Lucknow, the sources added.
Who is he then?
Back in Lucknow, however, the cops and the airport officials were busy passing the buck so far as initiating the process to identify the man found dead at the airport portico. The passenger (40) had arrived at the Amausi airport by an Air India flight on Sunday morning.
The airport officials had informed the Sarojininagar police about the incident and the body was sent for post-mortem examination. Station officer (SO) Sarojininagar BB Tiwari said since the post-mortem examination could not ascertain the cause of death, the viscera was preserved for further examination.
Tiwari said the ticket recovered from the baggage of the passenger revealed his name as Mohammad Ashraf, a resident of Malappuram, Kerala.
Talking to the HT on Thursday, the SO said he had come to know about another man with identical name and address surfacing in Kerela. He said Air India authorities were collecting details about the deceased.
When contacted Ravi Prakash, Amausi Airport director, said the body of the passenger was handed over to the city police. “Now, the formalities of identifying the body and taking further action rest with the police,” he said.
Ujjawal Ghosh, head (Sales) (Northern region) Air India, could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.