Former Odisha footballer Naresh Akula dies in Assam, body sent to Mizoram

Bhubaneswar: Former Odisha footballer Naresh Akula, who was working at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), passed away while undergoing treatment in a hospital in Assam on June 10.

However, Naresh’s family members, who reside in Bhanjanagar of Ganjam district couldn’t get his mortal remains as the body was sent to Mizoram by ONGC.

When asked, the ONGC officials allegedly said the family members that a woman from Mizoram, named Lal Muan Kui, is a claimant for the body as her name was listed as Naresh’s wife in the official records.

The family was in for a shock as Naresh was already married with Arati since 2012 and they have a four-year-old daughter.

His elder brother Bishnu Akula claimed that the night before he died, he had spoken to his family staying in Bhanjanagar and expressed his desire to come back home.

Bishnu, who spoke to him, said he had advised the footballer to put off the visit as he was likely to be put in quarantine for 14 days upon arrival due to raging coronavirus pandemic.

Akula had represented Odisha in the Santosh Trophy, India’s premier state level football tournament, three times from 2006 to 2008. He also represented Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in the reputed I-League.

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