A body believed to be that of British national Ranjit Singh Power was flown back to the UK in June 2015. However, a court has now heard it was in fact not the 54-year-old, allegedly murdered in India nearly one year ago.
An Indian taxi driver, Sukhdev Singh, confessed to killing Power and divers found a body in a river in the Indian state of Punjab. The body was flown to Wolverhampton after a family friend identified it, saying that the retrieved man wore "exactly the same bangle" as his friend. However, an inquest has heard that DNA tests and dental records proved "beyond doubt" that the body was not that of the hotel owner's.
It remains unclear who the body does belong to and the coroner has been unable to identify the cause of death of the body sent to the UK. Should future family of the victim eventually come forward, DNA tests would be able to confirm the relation. Until then the case is believed to have been referred to social services. However, Indian authorities are said to still believe that the body is that of the murdered Briton.
According to the Birmingham Mail, Zafar Siddique from the Black Country Coroner recorded: "It remains unascertained. I can't be clear how he died. He was one of five males pulled from a river in the Punjab. I have to give it an open conclusion. Sadly, that's as far as I can take this. No one is coming forward."
Power was last seen at an airport in Amritsar, Punjab on 8 May 2015. Dc Zahid Ahmed from the West Midlands Police told the inquest that a forensic dentist had examined a molar on the body where Power had not had one. DNA tests were then compared to Power's toothbrush and the dentist confirmed that they were not a match.