Bawana compensation goof-up: son hints at hospital negligence

The minor, who works at a factory in Bawana, lives in a one-room accommodation in north-west Delhi.

The minor, who works at a factory in Bawana, lives in a one-room accommodation in north-west Delhi.  

Says his father got the money as mother’s name was on list of Bawana fire victims

Sitting outside his one-room accommodation in north-west Delhi’s Pooth Khurd, the 14-year-old son of the man, accused of wrongly receiving compensation meant for the victims of the Bawana fire last year, hinted at negligence by hospital authorities at the time of the incident.

The minor, who works at a factory in Bawana and lives alone now, claimed that his father left without a word about four months ago and he has no idea where he is.

The father has been accused of receiving ₹5 lakh compensation, which was announced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the 17 families of the victims who were killed in the fire in January 2018.

Account ‘seized’

The minor’s father’s account has been ‘seized’, which had about ₹2 lakh in it, said the police. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s office has submitted a complaint to the police to register an FIR.

A senior police officer said that they are examining the complaint. The minor told The Hindu on Friday that his mother was an asthma patient and was admitted to Maharishi Valmiki Hospital on January 20. “She was admitted at night and about an hour later, the fire accident victims were rushed to the emergency ward. After seeing the victims, she started breathing heavily and suffered a heart attack,” he said, adding that she died immediately and it was a natural death. He recalled that he and his father were told by the doctors that her post-mortem had to be done. “We did not understand why they wanted to conduct a post-mortem. We asked them and they said it is required. Her body was then shifted to Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital,” he said.

Two days later, the family went to the hospital and were given her body — on the same day the families of Bawana fire victims were given the bodies of their loved ones. “They had a list and they gave us the body according to that list. They also gave us the death certificate,” he claimed.

Told to collect cheque

A few days later, the minor claimed that officials in civil dress came to their residence in Pooth Khurd and said there was a cheque in their name that they needed to collect. They were told to bring their Aadhaar card and the death certificate. But the boy’s father did not have an Aadhaar card at that time.

“They said that my mother’s name is on the list of people who will receive the money. My father then went to our village in Bihar and brought the Aadhaar card. About 25 days after the incident, he went to some office and collected the cheque,” the minor claimed.

“We are uneducated and illiterate people. We did as we were told. We do not understand paper work and documents. Also, we are poor. Why would we deny money if we were being given?” he asked.

The minor said that he has been facing trouble as his father is nowhere to be seen and he is being questioned by the police and “other officials”. “Some people came a few weeks ago and took some documents, including bank papers and Aadhaar cards of my father and brother,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 10:25:27 AM |

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