Tamil Nadu: ‘Dead and buried’, elderly woman walks back home in Chengalpet district

A 72-year-old woman of Tamil Nadu’s Chengalpet district, who was believed to have been killed in a train accident Tuesday, returned home on Thursday, a day after “her body was buried by her family members”, leaving everyone shocked. The obituary posters put up by her family were later removed, the police said.

S Chandra, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar in Guduvanchery in Tamil Nadu’s Chengalpet district near Chennai, stays with her son Vadivelu (46). According to sources, she used to often go and stay at nearby temples for a couple of days at a stretch. This time, she left home around September 18 and when she did not return home even after a few days, the family first looked for her in the town and then informed the police on Tuesday, September 20.

Around evening, the locals informed the family about the railway police finding a woman’s body on the tracks of the Tambaram-Chengalpattu route. When Vadivelu reached the spot, the body resembled his mother. The police then completed the formalities and handed over the body to the family. Subsequently, on Wednesday, the family buried the body.

On Thursday morning, when the family was in the middle of another ritual for the deceased, Chandra returned home, leaving everyone stunned. The police were alerted and later they exhumed the buried body and sent it to the Chrompet Government Hospital.

Speaking to, a senior official attached to Egmore Railway Police said the uncanny resemblance of the deceased and Chandra led to the confusion.

“We came to know that Chandra was in depression and used to visit a temple at Hanumanthapuram in Singaperumalkoil among other temples and used to spend a couple of days there. On Tuesday, the body that we found on the tracks had worn a saree similar to the one Chandra had worn on that day,” the officer said.

The officer added, “Even the structure of the body was similar. Not just Vadivelu, even some of Chandra’s relatives identified the body. We completed other procedures and handed over the body to them. As soon as we came to know that Chandra had returned home, we visited the area, spoke with the tahsildar and carried out the process to exhume the body and send it to the hospital. We are carrying out further inquiry.”

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