Body of ‘rich’ beggar handed over to family members

(From left) Sukhdev, Sarjeet, Rajkumar, Dharmlal and Savarmal, the sons of Biradichand Pannaramji Azad, at Rajawadi Hospital on Wednesday.

(From left) Sukhdev, Sarjeet, Rajkumar, Dharmlal and Savarmal, the sons of Biradichand Pannaramji Azad, at Rajawadi Hospital on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Sons, wife to get money, FDs after court procedures

The body of the ‘rich’ beggar from Govandi was finally handed over to his five sons after the eldest, who is the only nominee of the deceased’s fixed deposits, arrived in the city.

Against the initial belief that Biradichand Pannaramji Azad (82) had only one son in Rajasthan, it turned out that he has five sons and a wife as well. The body was handed over to his sons, Sukhdev (47), Rajkumar (43), Savarmal (40), Dharmlal (38) and Sarjeet (34), at Rajawadi Hospital.

However, the family will get the money Azad left behind only after the necessary court procedures.

Azad died in a railway accident around 7.40 p.m. on October 4, which led the Vashi GRP to his shanty in Tata Nagar, Govandi. There, the police found ₹1.47 lakh in coins stashed in four sacks. They also found fixed deposit certificates together worth ₹8.77 lakh in two local banks, of which the latest of ₹1 lakh was deposited on September 11 this year.

“Apart from Sukhdev, all brothers use the surname Talaniya, which is their caste. The ‘Azad’ in the deceased’s name is not a surname, but a suffix he added at the time of Independence,” senior police inspector Nandakishore Saste from Vashi Government Railway Police (GRP) said.

He added, “There is some family dispute which the sons are hiding from us, but since it is not related to the case, we are not looking into it. We are only concerned with handing over the body, which has been done after verifying the documents, and the money and the fixed deposits, which will be handed over as per the court procedures.”

Came to city in 1988

The police have learnt from the sons that Azad was in Muscat in 1977, and returned to India in 1979 and purchased properties in Fatehpur in Rajasthan. In 1988, he came to Vile Parle and worked in a marble factory. In 1992, he shifted to Shivaji Nagar, where Savarmal too joined him. But the son shifted to Vikhroli after getting a job in a private firm that involved travelling.

After a fight with neighbours landed Azad in jail for three months, he shifted to Govandi in 1998.

He had visited his hometown in 1996 and 1998 when his mother and father respectively died, but never returned due to property disputes with his brothers. Sukhdev, too, joined his father for a brief time in 1993, but returned as he could not cope with the city.

Savarmal said, “My father was inspired by Nirankar Baba and lived the life as he directed. He was not a beggar. He used to earn ₹2,500 monthly in Muscat at a time when in our hometown people used to earn just ₹150.”

Jamluddin Mansoor Azmi, a neighbour of Azad, said that he earlier used to beg at GTB station, but later shifted to Govandi station due to poor health.

Shock to neighbour

“He used to go to railway stations after sunset, when people would be returning from work and would give him money. I knew him for the last 20 years and all this while, he had always maintained that he had no family. It came as a shock to us that he has five sons and a wife, all of whom are alive,” Mr. Azmi said.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 1:47:47 AM |

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