A senior citizen who went missing from his home a day ahead of Pongal and died after he was hit by a suburban electric train a day later, was buried even as his mother and friends continued to search for him. Lack of communication between the Government Railway Police and the local police was to be blamed, residents regretted.
S.Swaminathan (63), a bachelor, was a resident of Chromepet New Colony. He left home on January 13 after informing his mother, 82-year-old Rajalakshmi Subramanian. As he did not return home even two days later, New Colony residents filed a complaint at Chromepet police station, where a man missing case was registered.
Meanwhile, the body of a senior citizen was found amidst the bushes beside the suburban railway lines near Tambaram Sanatorium railway station on Jan. 14. The body was shifted to the mortuary of Tambaram Taluk Government Hospital in Chromepet for post mortem and a case registered at the GRP Station, Tambaram.
After 6 days at the mortuary, the "unclaimed body" was buried at the burial ground opposite the hospital. On the evening of Jan. 22, the local policemen informed the colony residents that a senior citizen who was killed in a train hit case was buried. V.Santhanam of New Colony accompanied by other residents along with Ms. Rajalakshmi went to the police station and confirmed that it was Mr. Swaminathan after looking at pictures of the victim.
Ms. Rajalakshmi went into a state of shock and was inconsolable, after she was informed of the accident and that her son was buried. “This is a very poor reflection about how two different arms of the same department work. ,” said Mr. Santhanam.
The incident took place on January 14 and it took a full 9 days for the information to reach the local police station, that after the victim was buried and it was pointer to the absolute lack of communication and coordination among the police wings.
New Colony residents said it was very clear that the GRP, Tambaram, did not effectively communicate with neighbouring police stations such as Tambaram, Selaiyur, Chitlapakkam and Chromepet.
Judging from the scene of crime (between Chromepet and Tambaram Sanatorium railway stations) and the attire of the victim, who was wearing a t-shirt and a dhoti, police could have easily established that the victim was a local resident, Ms. Rajalakshmi’s neighbours said.
Ms. Rajalakshmi, whose husband Subramanian retired as Head Clerk from Southern Railway passed away some years ago. She lived with her only son and was upset that she was unable to have a glimpse of him before his burial, let alone cremate him as per their tradition.