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Many claimants to Parveen Babi's body
Vijay Singh in Mumbai | January 23, 2005 14:55 IST
Last Updated: January 23, 2005 16:48 IST
Former Bollywood actress Parveen Babi's body lay unclaimed on Sunday, a day after she was found dead in her Juhu flat.
Many of her old friends, including some from the film industry, and distant relatives have been approaching the police to take custody of her body.
Police sources said "we will not give her body to anyone unless s/he is a close and direct relative. And if no such relative comes forward, we will perform the last rites after few days".
The police are apparently trying to avoid a Suraiya-like situation, in which many relatives and friends had staked claim to the property of the singer who died in January last year.
A close associate said that he was not aware that Parveen Babi had any known direct relative.
"Babi did not have any direct relative that I know of. Her father died when she was very young and her mother died three years ago. She was also the only child of her parents," said Bharat, who was Babi's make-up man for ten years from 1974.
Her will and the 2200 square feet flat, whose value runs into crores, promise to become the bone of contention between her relative and friends.
Sources said that she had made a will, which is in her flat.
The police have now sealed the flat and are conducting investigations, sources said.
Doctors who examined the body said the actress must have been dead for almost 36 hours before the body was found on Saturday afternoon.
Police sources said that apparently no "relatives were present when she was dying of starvation, her financial condition was bad and she had no food to eat. Nobody came to her aid then. Now everybody seems to be coming ahead to take custody of her dead body."
Her postmortem report revealed that she had not eaten anything before she died. Doctors only found some liquid in her stomach.
One relative, Aneesa Babi, who is a struggling artiste in the film industry, said, "She was my role model, I was inspired by her. We never met, but my father always told me about her success. Like Parveen Babi, I belong to Junagarh; and my grandmother also belongs to the royal family of Kheda, in Gujarat".
Aneesa also approached Juhu police station with her parents to claim the body.
Union Sports Minister Sunil Dutt visited the Cooper hospital mortuary, where the body is kept, and told the media that if no one from her family came ahead to claim the body, then the film industry would take up the responsibility of performing the last rites.
Film producer Mahesh Bhatt has also approached the police in connection with the matter. Bhatt is said to have been very close to Parveen Babi at one time.
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