Three days after a Nagpur-based former bureaucrat died, railway police at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus found his bag containing documents in the waiting room where he lived for two nights before his death.
The Government Railway Police (GRP) said footage from security cameras helped them locate the bag that Prabhakar Darbhe (73) was carrying when he went missing on Friday evening.
Police Inspector P Yeram of the CST GRP station said Darbhe, who was inquiring into a recruitment scam, came to Mumbai on Friday, and was to return that evening after a visit to Mantralaya.
“Darbhe went to Mantralaya on Friday, but once inside, he began feeling feverish. Our van reached the spot after we got a call from the control room. Two constables took him to St George hospital. Along the way, he had laboured breathing and a high fever.”
Z M Gharal, senior inspector, Marine Drive police station, said that after he was treated, Darbhe told police he was fine and wanted to return to Nagpur. “We let him go once the doctor allowed it,” said Gharal told Hindustan Times on Wednesday. Yeram however said that Darbhe had signed a statement at the hospital saying he did not want to get admitted to the hospital and wanted to return to Nagpur.
“Reaching CST, Darbhe found his train had left, and the next train was the following day. He slept in the waiting room for two nights and a day before collapsing near the water cooler,” said Yeram. GRP officers said commuters had told them a senior citizen trying to drink water at the cooler had collapsed. When the GRP
took him to St. George hospital, he was declared dead on arrival.
Asked how Darbhe and his belongings were not noticed in the waiting room after his death — especially given the purportedly heightened security at CST — Yeram said: “The waiting room is full of commuters and luggage at any given time. People rest there for days. But it is strange that Darbhe did not even phone home to say he was sick.”
He added that on Tuesday evening, they found unclaimed luggage that contained the files that Darbhe was to carry with him. Deputy Superintendent at St George Hospital, M G Kadam, who conducted the post-mortem, said the cause of death is not known yet, pending receipt of the chemical analysis report.