Bureaucrat appointed to speed up handover of Ghatak’s cinematographer’s body | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Bureaucrat appointed to speed up handover of Ghatak’s cinematographer’s body

It’s almost a fortnight that Kumar’s body is lying in a police morgue even as students and friends lobby cops for doing the last rites.

kolkata Updated: Oct 17, 2016 09:56 IST
Arpit Basu
The state government has asked Atri Bhattacharya, principal secretary information and culture, to ensure that the body of Mahendra Kumar is speedily handed over to his well wishers.
The state government has asked Atri Bhattacharya, principal secretary information and culture, to ensure that the body of Mahendra Kumar is speedily handed over to his well wishers.(HT Photo)

The state government has asked Atri Bhattacharya, principal secretary information and culture, to ensure that the body of Mahendra Kumar is speedily handed over to his well wishers.

It’s almost a fortnight that Kumar’s body is lying in a police morgue even as students and friends lobby cops for doing the last rites.

Kumar was the cinematographer of Ritwik Ghatak and had worked with the master in Meghe Dhaka Tara, Komal Gandhar, Subarnarekha and two unfinished films Bagalar Banga Darshan and Ronger Golam. He was 81.

“It is an unfortunate situation. Atri Bhattacharya has been tasked to deal with the issue. The problem will be soon sorted out,” said PWD, youth and sports minister Arup Biswas.

Read:Ten days after death, Ghatak’s cinematographer’s body still lying in morgue

Biswas’ younger brother Swarup, president of the Tollywood Artists Forum, said they have taken the matter seriously and would try to complete the legal process soon. “A few of his close associates have claimed the body. But for that an affidavit is essential from the court. We will try to sort out legal issues soon,” he said.

On Friday, HT had reported Kumar’s body is lying at the Katapukur morgue after he died on October 3 at his Golf Garden residence. When his students and friends approached the police to hand over the body, the cops said an affidavit is required. However, the courts were closed for Durga Puja.

“We spoke to DC South Suburban Division on Saturday and he has assured of prompt action. We have also managed to trace Kumar’s brother in Panipat. His son will soon be in the city with proper ID,” said Saibal Mitra, a film director and student of Kumar.

Read:Ritwik Ghatak, the auteur ‘who wanted to live’

Ghatak spotted Kumar playing harmonica in a Bhowanipore locality in the mid-1950s and took an instant liking to him. Kumar is from Himachal Pradesh and had run away from home as his foster parents’ ill treated him. When Subarnarekha’ was being shot, the producer walked out of the project midway. Kumar did some advertisement films to raise money for the film’s completion.