The Trombay police in the coordination of the Christian community in Mumbai and Thane carried out the burial of a 70-year-old man as per traditional rituals. A parishioner of a Mangalore church was found dead on the street by police a month ago. The police claim they traced his wife who was no longer concerned and asked the police to conduct last rites.
The police said on February 19, 2022, the Trombay police Mother Velankanni Church, Cheeta Camp, Trombay. Informing that they found the dead body of Philips Jeffrey Ferrav who was staying on the street. "The police were only able to find the Baptism Certificate and he was found to be baptized in St Paul Balakunj, Mangalore. We reached the Parish priest Father Wilburn D'souza and got in touch with the Parish priest and he could locate the deceased's wife. She was already married to a different person year back. Their kids were settled in the UK and she informed the police that she is no longer concerned and asked the police to take care of the last rites," said Kasber Augustine, president of Maharashtra Go Green Foundation and social activist.
Augustine further added, "So the police and our Parish priest father Xavier Buddali took the responsibility of the last rituals. After weeks when we followed up, we could not take custody of the body as the ACP signature was needed. Once we got the signature there was a delay in handing over the body because of the unavailability of the priest and the concerned police officer. Almost after one month, we were not able to move ahead, we then informed the Parish Priest of St Paul Balakunj Mangalore. He got in touch with Father Rudolph and Father Rudolph Andrades who gave him my contact number as I was following up the case with the police," he added.
Recently Augustine along with Father Xavier and his two parishioners approached and requested the police to do the formalities.
On March 19 with the help of Father Xavier, Kasber Augustine, police sub-inspector, Shailabi Pathan, PSI Jadhav, R.Aruldass (Cheeta Camp Cemetery caretaker), police Nayak, Santosh Sudhir, and caretaker Jyoslyn completed all the formalities and took the body of Philips Jeffrey Ferrav and did the funeral service and buried him.
Rehana Shaikh, senior police inspector, at Trombay police station said, "It was a team work that showed a result. Such coordination among police and active members will help bring results in many cases."
Shailabi Pathan, police sub-inspector, Trombay police station said it was a lengthy process. "With the help of active members from the community, we traced the family. After the family denied performing the last rites, we then coordinated with the NGO from the community and the priest and performed the last rites. We got good support and it was teamwork with the help of our seniors," she added.