The Hema Upadhaya-Harish Bhambani murder case has been in the news recently and before that the Sheena Bora-Indrani Mukherjee case dominated the news for quite a while. From a paranormal perspective, whether murdered or dealt with unfairly in some other way, there are well documented cases where dead persons, unable to rest at peace, have acted to set right a wrong. Call it revenge, call it justice. The fact remains that the motivation to obtain fair play was so overpowering, it enabled disembodied spirits to return to earth on a mission to avenge their deaths and provide sensational evidence. There are several cases, such as the Anne Walker case where they have returned to earth as ghosts and found a way to bring the offenders to book. There are others like the recent Durgesh-Mahipal case where the murdered person has taken birth again and pursued justice. Obviously, earth and ghostland share the same codes.
Many years ago, the strange case of Anne Walker created a stir in England. It was obviously a strong desire to seek justice that brought Anne Walker back from the grave. I have written about the Anne Walker case, documented in the Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain earlier as well but for readers who may have missed out it happened like this: A long, long time ago, in 1861, James Graeme, a miller of County Durham, England, was returning home late one night. Suddenly, a young woman drenched in blood and with five open wounds on her head appeared before him. She told the shocked miller that her name was Anne Walker and she had been murdered with a pick-axe by a man named Mark Sharp, who had been instructed to do so by a relative of hers also called Walker, whose child she was carrying at that time. She identified a pit where her body had been dumped, and urged Graeme to give this information to the local magistrate. Unwilling or unable to digest or believe this supernatural experience, Graeme chose to ignore it. But Anne Walkers’s ghost appeared again and pleaded with him. When he still did nothing, the apparition reappeared yet again and threatened to continue to haunt him. At this, Graeme finally went to the authorities and narrated the sequence of events. The pit identified by the ghost was searched and Anne Walker’s body was recovered. Sharp and Walker were arrested, tried, found guilty and hanged. With justice done, Anne Walker’s spirit did not trouble anyone again.
And a just a few years ago, a similar but even more curious and dramatic case came to light in India. Anne Walker’s ghost was unable to find peace until the two men involved in her murder were arrested and hanged. In the Indian case too, a young man who was murdered was obviously unable to rest at peace. But instead of his ghost making an appearance, he himself returned – not as a ghost, but reborn as someone else to avenge his own murder. He held an Additional District Judge and the court spellbound by giving – at five years of age – a detailed, step by step account of how he was murdered in his last birth. Here are the details. In 2000, a 21 year old youth named Mahipal, a resident of village Chhonk near Hapur in Uttar Pradesh was murdered. Based upon investigations and evidence gathered, the police arrested a friend of Mahipal’s named Ved Prakash for the murder. After being released on bail, Ved Prakash moved to Aligarh and the case remained where it was, even though it was in a fast track court. Then, the murdered Mahipal’s mother brought a five year old boy named Durgesh to the court with an intriguing story.
Durgesh, she claimed, had been Mahipal in his last birth and had been reborn in their family as their grandson and he would identify his murderer in court. Her story seemed to have enough substance to prompt Sahib Singh Chauhan, an additional district Government counsel to apply to the court to present the testimony of Durgesh (the murdered Mahipal in his last birth) under Section 311 of the UP Cr PC that allows the prosecution to present supportive new evidence.
S.P. Arvind, the Additional District Judge, Fast Track Court (I) allowed Durgesh (Mahipal) to be presented before the court. The five year old Durgesh presented an amazingly vivid, detailed account of his own murder in the last birth by Ved Prakash. He said he had been murdered by Ved Prakash on 28 February 2000 in a rose farm and described the scene and the sequence. He went on to point out parts of his body where he had received injuries during the resistance he had put up before dying. While all this had an impact, it could still be argued that the five year old Durgesh could have picked up these details from relatives, or been tutored by them. But what really shook the court and those present was Durgesh’s unhesitating, unerring identification of Ved Prakash as his murderer. This was for two reasons. Firstly, Ved Prakash had never been seen in Durgesh’s village Chhonk after shifting to Aligarh. And secondly, there was no possibility that Durgesh could have seen Ved Prakash anywhere else in this life time. The next hearing of this intriguing case was fixed, when the court was to determine the legal implications and the admissibility of this new evidence. Eventually, the court observed that while the evidence was overwhelming, there was no law where this kind of evidence could be admitted. While both the Anne Walker and the Mahipal-Durgesh case are startling examples of revenge from beyond the walls of death through the justice mechanisms set up on earth, there are many other equally well documented revenge cases that often defy ordinary explanations.