• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

The physical encounter has added to the agony for the families of some Odisha train crash victims

The physical encounter has added to the agony for the families of some Odisha train crash victims

Authorities said a DNA test is required to ensure the process remains flawless.

Bhubaneswar:

For some of the families who lost loved ones in the three-train accident in Odisha, the four-day-long battle to claim the bodies continues and gets even worse. NDTV today met at least three families in Bhubaneswar who claimed that the bodies of their loved ones had been released to someone else.

Others wait for days, only to be told by authorities that the bodies will be handed over only after DNA test results.

Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation Commissioner today said that there is delay in getting some relatives who are not related by blood.

Authorities said a DNA test is required to ensure the process remains transparent and error-free. They, however, denied the veracity of the family’s claim that the body had been given to someone else and said DNA tests were awaited.

A grieving mother told NDTV at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhubaneswar that her 16-year-old son’s body had been identified but was informed that it had already been released to someone else. “They told me someone else took the body,” said Meera Devi, 30, from Nepal.

Zakaria Lashkar, a resident of West Bengal, also said that he was informed by hospital authorities that the body of his uncle Abu Bakar Lashkar was claimed by a woman from Malda. “They say a woman has taken the body from Malda. I don’t know the woman’s name. They are telling me a woman has taken the body,” he said.

Sheikh Abdul Ghani, who lost a son and was with his younger son at the Bhubaneswar AIIMS morgue, said he too had been told something similar by the authorities. “About the body, they are saying that someone from Bihar has claimed the body. I cannot find my son’s body,” Mr Ghani, who is also from West Bengal, said.

For some other families, it was an endless wait. Gorachand Banerjee of West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas has been at the AIIMS morgue since Monday to claim the body of his son Subhashish Banerjee. The authorities, however, told him that it would be handed over only after the DNA test results.

Asked about the delay, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation Commissioner Vijay Amrita Kulange said, “We are getting some relatives who are not blood related and that’s why some identifications are not going properly. That’s why AIIMS has decided today to collect blood samples for DNA testing.”

288 people were killed in the train crash, one of India’s worst in decades, and Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said today that 83 bodies were still unaccounted for.

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