A 60-year-old man feigned his own death so that he and his friends could reach their homes in J&K's Poonch district in an ambulance from Jammu, but ran out of luck when a police party recorded their temperature and found him to be alive.
Hakam Din, 60, was admitted to the Government Medical College in Jammu after he suffered a head injury during a fight on March 27.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Poonch, Ramesh Angral said all the five people, including the ambulance driver, were charged and sent to a quarantine facility under police guard.
Mr Din ran out of luck just a few kilometers from his residence when a police party intercepted the ambulance coming from Jammu and subjected the occupants to screening for coronavirus and were shocked to find the "dead person" alive, officials said.
Like at other checkpoints enroute from Jammu to Surankote, the driver produced the death certificate with a proper stamp and signature from the designated hospital authority to take the body of the ''deceased'' home.
However, since the policemen and medical staff at the checkpoint were directed to check every vehicle carrying more than two persons and record their body temperature, they were stunned to find the man alive, the senior police officer said, adding that an investigation was underway to find how they managed to get their hands on the fake death certificate.
"Some days back, one individual who was injured during a fight was referred to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital Jammu for treatment. He was discharged from the hospital and with the help of his attendants managed a certificate and an ambulance to dodge the police restrictions (due to the lockdown)," the officer said.
The officials said a case has been registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for cheating, negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life and disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant was registered against the five people.
They identified the driver of the ambulance, bearing Punjab registration number, as Abid Hussain of Thandkot village of Rajouri.
This is the first such case in Jammu and Kashmir which came under complete lockdown on March 22, two days ahead of the 21-days countrywide shutdown announced by the prime minister.