Uttarakhand man assumed dead for 24 years, returns

Updated on Jul 19, 2021 06:16 PM IST

The man’s last rites were conducted by the family thinking of him as dead after his disappearance nearly 24 years ago.

Uttarakhand man assumed dead for 24 years, returns
Uttarakhand man assumed dead for 24 years, returns
ByMohan Rajput

A man deemed dead for twenty-four years, whose last rites related rituals were also held, has returned to his native place, Ranikhet area of Almora district. His family members, however, are not allowing him into the house without the naamkaran (naming) ceremony, HT has learnt.

Naamkaran is a traditional Hindu naming ceremony to give a birth name to the newborn according to his or her lunar horoscope and is generally conducted on the 12th day after the birth.

Surprised by the sudden return of 72-year-old Madho Singh Mehra on Saturday, his family decided that only after the naamkaran ceremony will he be given an entry into the house.

The man’s last rites were conducted by the family thinking of him as dead after his disappearance nearly 24 years ago.

“I was a child when our uncle (Tau) Madho Singh Mehra went missing and our family looked for him and waited for 10-year in the hope of his return. When he didn’t return, our family took the refuge of our ancestral deity and asked our priest, who also acts as an oracle, about it. He declared him dead,” said 38-year-old Ram Singh Mehra, nephew of Mehra.

Mehra said Madho Singh, a resident of Janoli village on Ranikhet-Khairna state highway, went missing 24-year-ago when he was 48-year-old after a petty dispute within the family. The family looked for him and eagerly waited for his return. They waited for 10 years and then consulted their priest, who declared him dead.

When he was declared dead, the search for him ended and the family performed his last rites. The male family members tonsured their heads too.

Ram Singh said, “After declaring him as dead by the priest, our family lost all hopes of his return and performed his last rites. The male members also tonsured their heads according to our tradition.”

During this period, Madho’s wife Jeewanti spent her life as a widow. She married her son and daughter.

Madho Singh was suddenly spotted in the field of the village on Saturday in an emaciated condition. Villagers brought him in a palanquin to the village since he was unable to walk due to weakness.

Kuber Singh Mehra, a resident of the same village, said, “He is not only weak to walk but also fails to tell how he reached the village or who brought him.”

When asked by the family priest about his return, the priest said since Madho’s last rites had been performed, his naamkaran ceremony will be conducted before giving him entry to the house.

Villagers have erected a tent at the courtyard of the house for his stay. Madho’s son works in a private company in Delhi.

Ram Singh said, “We informed our family priest who is in Haridwar. He said since his last rites have been performed, so the naamkaran ceremony is necessary for his entry into the house. We are waiting for our priest, till then we have put him in a tent erected at the courtyard,”

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