UP: ‘Our son sacrificed his life to Goddess, why do you bother?’
20 year old’s death: Residents of Utwan village refuse to hand over body for post-mortem examination
When police officials rushed to Utwan in Barabanki after receiving the news of a 20-year-old youth’s death at a temple in the village, they were greeted by an unusual sight and unexpected reaction from locals.
“Over a thousand people from the village and nearby areas had gathered at the temple where the deceased, Anirudh Yadav, had supposedly ended his life,” said additional superintendent of police (ASP) of Barabanki Ashok Kumar. “They refused to cooperate in the investigation and denied giving the body for post-mortem examination,” he said.
In case of unnatural death, autopsy examination is mandated by law, but the villagers said they considered the death a sacrifice and didn’t allow the police to take the body away.
“He was our son and he sacrificed himself to the Goddess. Why do you bother? We don’t want his body to be spoiled by post-mortem examination,” his family members told officials.
Sub-divisional magistrate Shyam Nath Pandey, who was sent by the district magistrate to ensure that law and order was not disturbed in the area, said, “The deceased’s father, mother, grandfather and grandmother -- everyone opposed the post-mortem (examination). They even went on to say that the youth took his life in front of them, to prevent us from taking the body. There was not much we could do in such a situation.”
The family members reiterated their response when HT met them on Tuesday.
“He (Anirudh) didn’t have any enemies. The temple and the God was everything for him, and he sacrificed his life,” said Swami Nath Pandey, Anirudh’s father.
The temple -- a 4x4 feet structure -- is situated just a stone’s throwaway from Anirudh’s house on the outskirts of the village. Inside, there is hardly enough space for a person to sit comfortably. Anirudh was found dead inside the temple, his back resting near the statue of Goddess Durga, feet near the small blue coloured metal gate.
“His body was lying in a pool of blood. The tiled floor was covered with blood, which was even flowing out,” said the ASP.
Police officials said that deep cuts were seen on the right side of Anirudh’s neck. “Prima facie, it appeared that the youth hit his neck with a cleaver, which was found near the body,” said the ASP.
Anirudh was the only child of Swami Nath Yadav, a marginal farmer. He reportedly spent most of his time at the temple. “He only talked about God and ways to serve him. We never stopped him from doing so because we didn’t see any harm in him being religious,” said Swami Nath, adding “We have lost everything after his death but we consider it God’s wish.”
Anirudh was enrolled in a bachelors’ course in a nearby college, but he hardly attended classes, said his family. “He spent his entire day at the temple and only returned home to sleep at night,” his father said.
Officials said they had to give in to the family’s wishes. “As per the wish of the family, we took a written agreement from them and decided not to take the body for post-mortem examination,” said the ASP.
Once the officials left, villagers performed Anirudh’s last rites near the temple. They have also decided to build a temple in his name near the spot. “Anirudh devoted his life in the service of God. He was no less than a saint,” said Jitendra Kumar Yadav, a villager.
First Published: Sep 12, 2018 14:31:15