Amarnath Ghosh’s body still in Morgue in US; friends call for justice

Indian classical dancer’s friends and supporters demand answers and repatriation of remains

| Updated: 06 March, 2024 2:55 pm IST
Indian classical dancer Amarnath Ghosh in the United States

NEW DELHI: NEW DELHI: A full week has elapsed since the tragic demise of Indian classical dancer Amarnath Ghosh in the United States, yet his body languishes in the morgue, with no last rites performed and a frustrating lack of progress in the investigation into his death.

The delay in repatriating his remains and the ambiguity surrounding his death have ignited fury among his friends and supporters, who demand justice through a thorough investigation to apprehend the culprits.

Amarnath Ghosh, a gifted classical dancer from India, embarked on a journey to the United States with aspirations of pursuing a Ph.D. in his craft. With faith in the opportunities America offered, he secured a full fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis.

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However, tragedy struck when Ghosh mysteriously vanished after a stellar performance at the Battery Dance Festival in New York City. Despite his promising career and contributions to the arts, Ghosh’s life was senselessly cut short, leaving his friends and supporters devastated and yearning for justice.

In an exclusive conversation with The New Indian, Meenakshi Sharan, founder of the Ayodhya Foundation, who played a motherly role and expressed love for Amarnath Ghosh, expressed her anguish over the lack of progress in the case. She highlighted the injustice faced by Ghosh even in death, despite efforts to seek justice and repatriate his remains, including intervention from the Indian Consulate in Chicago. Ghosh’s friends are still awaiting answers and struggling to claim his body for proper last rites.

She stated, “I am in pain, we all are in pain. Amarnath’s life was marred by injustice, and even in death, he faces unkindness. From the day he was shot to the present, with no information on the assailant, no CCTV footage, and no official police statements from Missouri, we are still waiting for answers. Day six and Day 7, we are still waiting for answers – who killed him, where are his mortal remains, and when and where can we perform dignified last rites?”

Further complicating matters, Ghosh’s paternal uncle has emerged, claiming ownership of his body and assets, despite strained relations with Ghosh during his lifetime. This dispute has added another layer of complexity to the situation, with Ghosh’s friends facing obstacles in claiming his remains and performing dignified last rites.

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Devoleena Bhattacharjee, an actress and friend of Ghosh, expressed her dismay at the situation, urging Ghosh’s relatives to prioritise his rituals over material concerns. She emphasised the importance of providing closure to Ghosh’s soul by ensuring that his last rites are performed with dignity and respect.

She said, “His uncles & cousins should sign the documents as soon as possible without demanding anything from friends of Amarnath. So that friends can at least perform the last rites of Amar. I am devastated thinking it’s been a week, and his uncle, cousins are more concerned about Amar’s house keys than his rituals. I can’t believe this is happening. Amar’s soul won’t get peace if his uncles, cousins do these things to him.”

The tragic loss of Amarnath Ghosh has not only devastated his friends and supporters but has also raised questions about the safety and well-being of Indian students studying abroad. As investigations into his death continue, there is mounting pressure on Indian authorities to take proactive measures to protect Indian citizens overseas and ensure justice for those affected by such tragedies.

Amidst the grief and outrage, Ghosh’s legacy as a talented artist and cherished friend lives on, fueling calls for transparency in investigations and accountability from authorities.





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