“I still cannot believe what my brother did to himself"
Police have said that Khomdram Gambhir Singh, who was reunited with his family after being missing for 40 years, committed suicide on September 10, 2020.
Khomdram was known as ‘Manipur’s missing man’. He was found in Mumbai after being spotted on a YouTube video in April 2018.
H Sanjoy, of Patsoi Police Station, said: “A man identified as Khomdram Gambhir Singh, of Imphal West district’s Khumbong village, was found hanging under a bridge near his home.”
He went on to say that joggers had discovered the body in the morning and they alerted the police.
During the late 1970s, Khomdram disappeared from his home village without a trace.
He was missing for four decades until April 2018 when a video of him singing in Bandra, Mumbai, surfaced on the internet.
A YouTube video shot by street photographer Firoze Shakir caught the attention of Khomdram’s relatives.
In an operation coordinated by the Manipur and Mumbai Police, the man was reunited with his family and returned to the state capital of Imphal to a rousing welcome.
A police case has not been registered in connection with Khomdram’s death at the request of his family.
Officer Sanjoy said: “We have not registered any case in Singh’s death as the Pradhan (from the local Panchayat) of the village and family members submitted a written request stating that they (family) do not want to trouble anyone.”
Since his return to Manipur, Khomdram had been living with his younger brother Kulachandra. He said:
“I still cannot believe what my brother did to himself, we are very shocked.
“My brother did express his desire to go back to Mumbai and live his old, carefree life. He would always worry that he was becoming a burden on everyone here.”
The deceased’s childhood friend Devadas said he had visited him the night before his death. He revealed that he had been unhappy ever since he returned home and was reunited with his family.
“These two years, he was unhappy after coming back from Mumbai, he missed his old life.”
“When I met him yesterday, he told me life had become very hard for everyone after the Coronavirus. He was worried about the days ahead.
“I had told him not to worry and that we are all there to help him, but this is the news we woke up to in the morning.”
Khomdram’s return to Manipur had attracted hundreds of people, however, his funeral was very low-key. It was attended by relatives, a few village elders and Dr Sapam Ranjan, a Member of the Legislative Assembly in Konthoujam.