the body of a man was recovered from a beach
In a case of mistaken identity, Deepak Balakrishnan, a 36-year-old Indian man, who was reported dead and subsequently cremated, has been found alive and well eight months later.
Police from the town of Margao in Goa found Deepak in a hotel in the old station road area on the night of January 31, 2023.
He was transferred to the custody of Kerala Police, who had been on the lookout after they realised that the cremated body was not his.
But when asked, Deepak denied any knowledge of his family cremating his alleged dead body.
Police sources said that Deepak vanished on June 7, 2022, from the town of Meppayur in the Kerala district, around 540 kilometres south of Margao.
The neighbourhood police department received a complaint of a missing person from Deepak’s family.
On July 17, the body of a man was recovered from a beach and was wrongfully identified as Deepak.
The funeral was conducted by Deepak’s family, but days later Kerala police learned the cremated corpse belonged to Irshad, a missing man from Panthirikkara in Kerala.
A DNA test conducted on samples of the remains confirmed the police’s case of mistaken identity.
The crime branch subsequently took over the case and launched a manhunt to find Deepak.
On January 31, 2023, police were engaged in routine surveillance of hotels.
They stumbled upon an Aadhar number that revealed Deepak’s identity during a random search of a hotel’s guest list near the old station road.
An Aadhar number is a voluntary unique identity number that Indian residents and resident foreign nationals can receive.
Deepak was arrested and Kerala police then arrived and took him into their custody.
Before arriving in Goa, Deepak claimed to have visited a number of locations, including Jaipur, Delhi and Punjab.
He said that he had performed some temporary labour in the Goan village of Bogmalo.
Deepak relocated to a hotel in Margao, where he ultimately came to the attention of the police, ending his eight-month act of being missing.
The Indian man was reportedly unaware that his supposed dead body had been cremated by his family.
According to sources, when reporters informed Deepak on February 1, 2023, that his last rites had been carried out, he smiled and stated it was the first he had heard of it before the Kerala police officials hauled him away.