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Uttarakhand: 42-year-old ‘dead’ man found alive, was ‘rechristened and remarried'

A 42-year-old man from Udham Singh Nagar district, who was declared "dead and cremated" but later found alive, was "rechristened and remarried" to his wife. His family "inadvertently performed the last rites" of an unidentified body, believing it to be Naveen's.

Uttarakhand 42 year old dead man found alive was rechristened and remarried gcw
First Published Dec 2, 2023, 11:00 AM IST

After being pronounced "dead and cremated" but then discovered alive, a 42-year-old man from the Udham Singh Nagar district was "rechristened and remarried" to his wife, who had abandoned him two years prior, together with their two children.

His family followed the traditional idea that if a person who was thought to be dead is found to be alive, it would be termed a "rebirth," therefore on Thursday they conducted all the ceremonies, from the naming ceremony to the "janeu sanskar" (holy thread ceremony).

Naveen Chandra Bhatt, 42, of Sripur Bichwa in Khatima town, was incorrectly assumed to be dead on November 25 after being missing from his house for more than a year, according to media reports. At Banbasa Ghat in Champawat, his family "inadvertently performed the last rites" of an unidentified body, believing it to be Naveen's.

Ramesh Mahar, former village pradhan, said, "After Naveen was found alive, the elders and priests unanimously decided that as per cultural protocols, all the 'sanskars' (rites of passages) from birth to marriage need to be performed again for purification."

The priest leading the ceremony, AB Joshi, clarified, saying, "The post-death rites had started even before Naveen was pronounced dead. In order to contemplate his rebirth, all the holy rites had to be carried out once more. The same woman was his second wife. Naveen then became Narayan Bhatt during the naming ceremony. But this moniker is only used in religious contexts."

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