After a whole day of begging around train stations, Biradichand Pannaramji Azad used to return to his shanti house in one of Mumbai’s slums. No one expected him to leave behind the amount of money he did after he died.
Police received a report about a beggar found dead by the railway tracks and started a routine investigation. To their surprise, they found a sack full of coins totalling Rs 1.75 lakh (Dh9,000), certificates of fixed deposits of Rs 8.77 lakh (Dh45,361) and Rs 96,000 (Dh4,965) in bank savings accounts at his home, officials were quoted as saying, news magazine India Today reported.
Azad, who hailed from the north Indian state of Rajasthan, lived in a shanty house near a drain between Govandi and Mankhurd train stations in the western Indian city of Mumbai on the Harbour corridor of the Central Railway's suburban network, police said.
There are conflicting reports on Indian media about Azad’s age.
"We got a call on Friday night about a man lying by the tracks between Govandi and Mankhurd. People living in the vicinity identified him as a beggar who made regular trips on Harbour line suburban trains begging for alms. They showed us the way to his home," the Vashi railway police official said, according to India Today.
Upon going through his belongings, police came across a sack with Rs 1 and Rs 2 coins that amounted to thousands, some bank documents, his Aadhaar card, PAN card (Permanent account number) and senior citizen cards.
"He had kept coins in plastic bags and hidden it inside four containers kept in a barrel. The coins totalled Rs 1.75 lakh. He had FDs [fixed deposits] worth Rs 8.77 lakh in two banks apart from Rs 96,000 in savings accounts. The FDs' nominee is Azad's son Sukhdev, a resident of Ramgarh in Rajasthan," a police official was quoted as saying.
In total, Azad left behind Rs 11.5 lakh (Dh59,515) in assets, officials stated according to India Today.