Relatives cast doubt over handing of bodies | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Relatives cast doubt over handing of bodies

kolkata Updated: Mar 28, 2010 12:14 IST
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The relatives of those who went missing after the tragic fire break-out at the Stephen Court building in Kolkata, have raised questions whether the charred bodies of the victims were handed over correctly to their families.

"Many bodies were earlier given to those claiming them without DNA tests. But, now they are not releasing any bodies without DNA tests," Mantu Nath, brother-in-law of the 30-year-old Mitra Nath, who is missing, said.

"How can we be assured that the bodies disposed off earlier were given to the correct families?" he questioned.

Sharing similar concerns, family members of 22-year-old accountant Jayati Roychoudhury are worried whether they will ever get hold of her remains.

"If by mistake her body was handed over to someone else, then we will never ever see her. She will be tagged as a missing person," a family friend said.

Rings, watches, chains and belts were used to identify 16 of the bodies shrunk and charred beyond recognition.

For the first time, a notice was put up on Saturday at the state-run SSKM Hospital where most of the bodies were taken.

According to the notice, 29 bodies had been received at SSKM Hospital out of which 16 had been disposed off. Of the 13 remaining, DNA tests had been conducted on four and would be done on Monday on the remaining nine.

Hospital superintendent D Bhattacharya said that DNA tests generally took time. "In view of the recovery of more bodies in the last two days, we think dispute may again arise over identification," he said.

Families, he said, had been asked to submit identity proof and photos of the victims to the Shakespeare Sarani police station.

Ruhi Parvin, in her twenties, working for Microsys Tech Enterprise, was identified by the ring she was wearing.

The parents of Pampa Chatterjee, 21, managed to identify her after they recognised her chain and dupatta.

After many families laid claim over the same body, the SSKM hospital authorities insisted on DNA tests.

The Director of Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research Dr P K Mitra said it was not possible for him to confirm when DNA results will be available as it was under the domain of Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL).

"While we have already sent four DNA samples to the CFSL, another six will be sent by Monday," Mitra said.