Uttarakhand: A 42-year-old man from Uttarakhand, Navin Bhatt, who was declared “dead” by his family and even had post-death rituals performed, was later found to be alive in Rudrapur. The case, marked by confusion and mistaken identity, unfolded when the police informed Navin’s father, Dharmanand Bhatt, that an unclaimed body with a slip bearing the name Navin Bhatt had been found in Haldwani.
Navin, who had been missing for nine years due to his alleged struggles with alcoholism, was identified by his family in Haldwani, and they brought the body to their ancestral village near Khatima in Udham Singh Nagar district. Convinced that the body was Navin’s, the family performed the last rites and cremated it.
However, during the post-death rituals in the village, a friend of Navin’s younger brother contacted him to inquire about the closure of their shop in Rudrapur. Shockingly, the friend revealed that he had met Navin just a few minutes ago and was alive.
Realizing the mistake, Navin’s younger brother, KD Bhatt, put him on a video call to confirm his identity with the family. The family rushed to Rudrapur and, indeed, found Navin alive. The post-death rituals in their village were subsequently canceled.
It was a case of mistaken identity, as the family had misidentified someone else’s body as Navin’s and cremated it, believing he had died. The family, treating Navin’s return as a second birth, renamed him Narayan Bhatt and performed a sacred thread ceremony (janeu sanskar) before remarrying him to his wife, Rekha, who had come to the village upon hearing about her husband’s “death.”
Navin, having vowed not to succumb to alcoholism again, is committed to looking after his family. This unusual incident highlights the importance of accurate identification and the potential consequences of hasty assumptions in sensitive situations.