Mumbai: The decomposed body of a senior citizen, Al Farooque Kabali (65), was found inside a 4BHK flat worth crores in Colaba’s elite Sagar Sangeet building where he was living the life of a near recluse for many years.
As in life, even in death, Kabali had no takers. His wife Cezh, who lives at Malabar Hill, has refused to claim his body which is lying in a mortuary of St. George’s hospital since Thursday. They had separated three years ago. Nonetheless, she is a nominee in the flat. “We contacted his wife but she has refused to claim the body; she claimed they were legally separated three years ago,” the officer explained. Both the sons live abroad and a daughter is married to a high profile businessman in Mumbai.
Kabali’s plush sea-facing flat on 30th floor was found enveloped in a thick layer of dust. The police as well the neighbours said the flat reeked of the excreta of pigeons which had made the flat their home. “There were nearly 100 pigeons inside the flat. I don’t know how he was able to relax in such environs. The floor and railings are all covered in pigeon poop,” said one of the neighbours.
The police were surprised to learn that the power connection had been snapped 24 months back, as electricity dues were in excess of Rs. 2 lakh. “He had also not paid the society’s maintenance bill for several months,” added the police. Incidentally, Kabali owns another flat near Radio club in Colaba.
There are four flats on each floor in the 31-storied elite building. A well-known Bollywood film star also resides in the same society. On Thursday, the housing society manager, Vinod Vasudkar, had rung Kabali’s doorbell but there was no response. Even his cell phone was switched off. “Vasudkar got alarmed as a foul smell was emanating from the flat. He informed us immediately. Our team reached the spot with fire brigade officials, who broke open the door and found the deceased lying prostrate on a bed, which was also in an extremely dilapidated condition,” a senior officer from Colaba police station told the Free Press Journal.
There was no furniture inside the house except for a broken bed, said another officer who was the first to see the body. He said, “A sum of Rs 500 in currency notes was lying next to the body. The battery of his basic cell phone had completely discharged.”
His neighbour said, “The society’s electrician had to buy a bed sheet from the nearby market to wrap up the body.” One of his sons lives in Muscat and the other is in the US. The one in Muscat has promised to reach India on Sunday. ‘‘The body will be handed over only to the legal claimant,” the officer added.
Neighbours said Kabali’s conjugal relations had deteriorated eight years ago. Surprisingly, no one knew his profession but neighbours did say, “It was really sad to know about his death. He was a thorough gentleman. We often exchanged pleasantries in Radio Club. He was highly dignified and courteous, always neatly dressed and would carry a smile on his face.” The security guard of the society said he would leave the house in the morning and return home in the evening.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)