Although the man allegedly lay there since around 11 am, a passerby informed the police only after 5 pm.

In an incident of shocking public apathy, a 65-year-old man died after he lay by a road for nearly six hours in Kerala’s Malappuram district.

The incident took place on Monday at Vasuppadi, near Kuttippuram. Chellappan was ignored by passersby for hours as they assumed he was drunk.

Although Chellappan allegedly was seen lying there since 11 am, a passerby informed the police only after 5 pm.

The police though shifted him to the Taluk Hospital in Kuttippuram, where the doctors pronounced him brought dead.

A native of Karunagappally in Kollam, Chellappan lived in Kuttipuram for the last 22 years, where he worked as a salesman in a wholesale egg shop.

“The local people knew him and they noticed him lying on the roadside near the Keltorn bus stop. However, they assumed that he was drunk. Monday was also the day a festival in the nearby temple concluded. Even due to that, people assumed that he was tired and asleep because he was part of the festival celebrations the previous night. By the time people realised that something was amiss, it was too late,” said Ajiraj, a Kuttippuram resident.

Kuttippuram Police Station Sub-Inspector Nipun Sankar told TNM that the cause of death was yet to be known.

“The cause of the death can only be ascertained after receiving the post-mortem report. He was sunburnt. When the police reached the spot, he was unconscious. The doctors said that he was brought dead,” Nipun said.

Nipun added that Chellappan used to drink every day, which is why people were skeptical and did not come forward to help.

“He was not lying on the roadside all the time. After a few hours, some people had shifted him to the shade of a mango tree. Later, after they realised that something was seriously wrong, they informed the police,” Nipun said.

Chellappan is survived by a wife and three children. His body currently at the Government Medical College in Kozhikode for a post-mortem.