• Tuesday, April 16, 2024


Conman convicted for impersonating wealthy landlord’s missing son for 41 years in Bihar

Concealing his identity, he went to college, got married and raised a family.

(Representational image: iStock)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A court in the north Indian state of Bihar has jailed a man who impersonated the missing son of an influential landlord and sold part of his property.

After four decades of hearing, Dayanand Gosai, 60, was convicted of cheating, impersonation and conspiracy to seize the property of Kameshwar Singh who believed he was his son.

It all began in early 1977 when Kanhaiya, the teenage son of Kameshwar Singh in the Murgawan village of Nalanda, disappeared without leaving behind any clue. A complaint was lodged with the local police but the boy was not found.

Some four years later in 1981, Singh heard the news that a 20-year-old man was found in a nearby village, living like a monk and begging for a living. The youth claimed he was the son of a wealthy man of Murgawan.

Singh, who had been convinced by a shaman that his son was alive, travelled to the village and met the young man. As his fellow villagers who accompanied him told him that the youth was indeed his son, Singh brought him home, not knowing that he was Gosai.

While Singh mistook Gosai for Kanhaiya, the landlord’s wife Ramsakhi Devi had doubts. She could not find a cut mark on his head that Kanhaiya had. Her suspicions grew stronger when Gosai could not identify his teachers. She complained to the police and the youth was arrested for impersonation.

But he managed to come out on bail. Concealing his identity, Gosai went to college, got married and raised a family. Securing multiple fake identity cards, he voted, paid taxes, gave biometrics for a national identity card, secured a gun licence and sold 37 acres of Singh’s property, a BBC report said.

According to official records, his name was Kanhaiya Ji, with his date of birth being inconsistent.

During the hearing, Ramsakhi Devi had said there was a conspiracy to grab her family’s property taking advantage of her husband’s ill health and failing eyesight.

Singh died in 1991 and his wife passed away four years later.

Throughout the saga, Gosai refused to undergo a DNA test which could have established that he was not the son of the couple.

Investigators traced his origin to a village called Jamui where he was born to a farmer. But he went on to produce a “death certificate” which stated that Dayanand Gosain was dead.

The court found inconsistency in the certificate and sentenced the father of two sons and three daughters to seven years of “rigorous imprisonment”.

However, the fate of Kanhaiya remains unknown.

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