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Winter is Coming: Family's shock as news of Sanjeev's death reaches India

PUBLISHED: 15:16 13 December 2017

Sanjeev Kumar

Sanjeev Kumar

Archant

The family of Sanjeev Kumar, who died on the streets of Ilford, had no idea of his death - or that he was homeless.

Homelessness in Redbridge infographic. Pic: Rosaleen Fenton/InfogramHomelessness in Redbridge infographic. Pic: Rosaleen Fenton/Infogram

Last week, the Recorder revealed that Sanjeev, 37, was one of four men who sadly died in the borough over two weeks.

Following the launch of our campaign last week, the news travelled overseas to his family in Yamunanagar, Haryana, India.

His younger brother Ankit said the family did not know that Sanjeev was unwell, or homeless.

He told the Recorder: “I have tried to make contact with him many times.”

The 37-year-old hadn’t revealed many details about his life to his family.

Ankit added: “I knew that he was in east London.”

Their mother is now desperate to see Sanjeev one last time.

It is understood that the 37-year-old had become unwell shortly before his death on November 16, and coroners say that his death is not being treated as suspicious.

Initially, Redbridge Council was set to organise his funeral - as legally required in circumstances where someone dies in the borough and the family is unable to be traced.

But now, thanks to the news reaching the family in time, arrangements are being made for Sanjeev’s body to be repatriated to India.

Over the week, the Recorder has heard from many readers who recognised Sanjeev, and were shocked to learn of his death.

Among them was a resident who grew up in the same city as him.

Initially disbelieving of the news, Jaswinder visited the police station and the coroner’s court to confirm the death.

He told the Recorder he was shocked by the news and had last seen Sanjeev about eight months ago at the gurdwara.

If you would like to donate to our ‘Winter is Coming’ campaign, please visit justgiving.com/fundraising/ilfordrecorderwintercampaign or text ILRE59 £5 to 70070.

In six weeks, we hope to raise £2,500 for Ilford Salvation Army, which helps the homeless in Redbridge all year round.

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