Two Weeks on, Body of Ritwik Ghatak's Cinematographer Lies Unclaimed
A file picture of Ritwik Ghatak's cinematographer Mahendra Kumar.
Kolkata: The body of acclaimed cinematographer Mahendra Kumar, who worked with Ritwik Ghatak, lies unclaimed in a mortuary in the city for the past two weeks.
Kumar worked as a cinematographer on masterpieces like "Megha Dhaka Tara", "Komal Gandhar" and "Subarnarekha".
He was found dead at his residence in the Golf Garden by the local tea seller, who supplied tea to his house every morning. The tea seller then duly informed the police about the incident.
The police are now in possession of the body and it is lying unclaimed in Katapukur mortuary.
Kumar had no immediate family and no relatives have come forward to claim his body. The police are trying to ascertain whether there are any legal claimants of his body.
Bengali film-maker of 'Chander Pahar' fame Kamaleshwar Mukherjee said that with the help of media, news of Mahendra Kumar's death be spread to everybody so that the cinematographer can be given a proper funeral.
Some of his students and friends formed a group demanding that Kolkata Police should hand the body over to them for cremation.
According to sources, in such cases an advertisement needs to be published in the newspapers urging any legal claimants to step forward and take the body. If no one turns up in a specified time, determined by the police, it can be handed over to the group. But since police officers were busy managing the city during the Durga Puja they could not do so.
People are upset as a talented man like him, instead of being cremated with the honour and respect that he deserved, is rotting in the morgue.
A distant relative of Kumar has been found in Delhi, say police.
They will come to Kolkata to identify the body. Till then his body will be lying in the morgue.
Kumar was born in the erstwhile Burma and was raised in Delhi. He started his professional life by working in various advertising agencies in Kolkata.