Mundka fire: After long hunt, cops collect DNA samples to match with last body

A week after a fire broke out at a factory in Mundka claiming 27 lives, the last DNA sample, to match with the charred bodies, was collected on Friday
Since the bodies were completely charred, the police are getting DNA tests done to ensure that bodies are handed over to the right claimant. (Sanjeev Verma/HT)
Since the bodies were completely charred, the police are getting DNA tests done to ensure that bodies are handed over to the right claimant. (Sanjeev Verma/HT)
Updated on May 20, 2022 11:59 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

A week after a fire broke out at a factory in Mundka claiming 27 lives, the last DNA sample, to match with the charred bodies, was collected on Friday.

The police suspect the dead woman to be Geeta Devi (42), who lived in a modest rented room, which had no windows, in the Mubarakpur Dabas village’s Parvesh Nagar area in north-west Delhi. She lived alone, her husband, Upendra Shah, having passed away in 2018. According to the landlord, no relative visited her since 2009, when she moved into the accommodation and she had no children.

Geeta was among nearly 70 workers who were present in the four-storey building, a CCTV assembling unit, last Friday to listen to a motivational lecture that the company owner had arranged. She had joined the company just ten days before the incident.

Since the bodies were completely charred, the police are getting DNA tests done to ensure that bodies are handed over to the right claimant. So blood relatives of 26 victims have submitted DNA samples so far.The DNA sample for the last body was yet to be collected as the police could not find any of her relatives.

On Thursday, police finally managed to trace and locate the woman’s brother, a native of Bihar, who came to Delhi on Friday to give his DNA sample.

Deputy commissioner of police (outer) Sameer Sharma said, “We managed to find her mobile number and examined the call detail records. A Bihar number was found on the list and when we called on that number, we found that it belonged to her brother.”

Geeta’s sister Manita Devi (32), resident of Bihar’s Nawada, said her brother received a call from the police on Thursday to come to Delhi and give a DNA sample. When asked why the siblings hadn’t come forward earlier, Manita said she was informed about the incident only on Sunday afternoon by a man identified as Ram Bhagat, who also lives in Parvesh Nagar, about a kilometre from Geeta’s residence.

“My husband used to sell fruits on a pushcart in Paharganj. About eight months ago, he fell sick and returned to the village, after asking my sister Geeta to run the pushcart. But she refused and gave it to her acquaintance Ram Bhagat and Ram Bhagat didn’t have our number to call and inform us,” Manita said.

Ram Bhagat said when he heard about the incident on Friday night, he got hold of Manita’s number from their common acquaintances and called her on Sunday, to inform her about the fire at the factory where her sister Geeta worked.

“We had called the police station too to ask about Geeta but we did not get any proper information. On Thursday, we received a call and were asked to come here,” Manita said.

While Geeta’s neighbours and landlord said no relative ever visited her, Manita claimed that Geeta had gone to Bihar about eight to nine months ago and stayed with her for over a month “About 10 days ago, I was compelling Geeta to come to Bihar for a special prayer procession in our village but she said she had joined this new job (at the factory) and cannot take leave,” Manita said.a

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