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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Museum Of Little Secrets

Sunil Upadhyay, a crusading conservationist of Indian Museum, disappears. Most suspect foul play.

Museum Of Little Secrets
Sandipan Chatterjee
Museum Of Little Secrets
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Clues To The Mystery

  • Sunil Upadhyay’s colleagues in the Indian Museum claim he was a whistleblower and crusa­der against corruption in top positions there. He may have been ‘removed’ or ‘silenced’, they say. He was said to have been pressurised to withdraw his application for the post of deputy director.
  • Upadhyay was suffering from depression, which may have been related to ‘office politics’. His colleagues say he had been made a scapegoat in a recent scandal—the Lion Capital case—in which a sculpture of high value was destroyed because of manhandling.
  • He was ill and was on medication, and had complained of chest pain and breathlessness. He was scheduled to undergo a battery of tests on the day after he disappeared. He also had a chronic, crippling, ailment on his foot.
  • He had reportedly chided workmen renovating the museum’s roof. A top museum officer says, “Hundreds of crores of money changes hands when contracts are assigned to different firms for renovation/restoration. Contracts are often bought by mafia groups who do not like being told what to do or questioned, which is something Sunil does.”
  • Of a spiritual bent of mind, he may have taken off and renounced the world
  • He may have been kidnapped for ransom, though no call has yet been received

***

Around seven in the evening on July 3, a 35-year-old scientist stepped out of his rented apartment in South Calcutta’s posh Swiss Park area in nothing but his bedroom slippers, a casual half-sleeved shirt and trousers. He left his cell phone at home—on silent mode, under his pillow. A half-read book, One Minute Mindfulness: How to Live in the Moment by Simon Park,...

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