Family waiting to bury woman learns she has already been cremated

The family members of a 35-year-old woman who died of complications related to COVID-19 were in for a shock on Tuesday when they saw someone else’s body at the graveyard. The body was allegedly brought from the AIIMS Trauma Centre.

The family has lodged a complaint at Safdarjung Enclave police station, alleging negligence on the part of the hospital. A senior police officer said they are looking into the matter.

AIIMS Trauma Centre Public Relations Officer B.N. Acharya, when contacted, said he was still ascertaining the facts of the matter at the time of filing of this report.

Came from Bareilly

Sharif Khan, 22, a resident of Bareilly, said his sister Anjum was suffering from jaundice for a fortnight and when her condition worsened, he brought her to Delhi and got her admitted to the AIIMS Trauma Centre on Saturday. “The next day, they told me she was COVID-19-positive and on Monday night, they said she was dead and asked me to take her body the next morning.”

Around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Mr. Sharif reached the hospital’s mortuary where the staff allegedly told him to book a place in the graveyard so that they could bring the body. “We went to the graveyard at ITO and completed the preparations. Two persons came to the graveyard with the body,” he said. The brother went close to the body to see the face. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. It wasn’t Anjum’s body but of a woman named Kusum Lata,” he said.

The ambulance staff told him “there might have been a mix-up” and left with the body, promising to return in an hour. “I kept waiting but they did not come. When I called, they gave me excuses. It was then that I called the police and reached the mortuary,” said Mr. Sharif.

The brother was allegedly informed at the hospital that Anjum’s body had been cremated by the family of the woman whose body he saw at the graveyard. “I had called Anjum’s children [two sons and a daughter] to see their mother for the last time and they couldn’t even do that,” he said.

This is the second incident of bodies being swapped at a hospital. In June first week, the body of a man named Moinuddin was allegedly swapped with that of a namesake at Lok Nayak Hospital.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 11:08:40 PM |

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