A 65-year-old woman’s body lying in the mortuary of an Ahmedabad hospital was handed over to a different family, which cremated her on November 13. This was the second case of swapping of bodies at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation-run V S Hospital in a little over a year-and-a-half.
The woman, Lekhaben Chand, died after a cardiac arrest on November 11. Her son Amit, who flew down from Canada, raised an alarm on Sunday after the body could not be found in the mortuary.
It then emerged that another family had cremated the body believing it to be that of their relative, Divyaben Shah. That body was still at the morgue.
Police confirmed that Rajiv Bagadia, Divyaben’s son, had been handed the body on November 13, and that the cremation was done the same day.
Members of Lekhaben’s family showed up at the Shah residence, and Bagadia was questioned by police.
“Preliminary investigations have revealed that there are no CCTV cameras at the hospital’s post mortem room. It looks like a human error and not a conspiracy. Investigations are on,” said Govind Bharvad, inspector in charge of Ellisbridge police station.
Amit Chand, Lekhaben’s son, said: “It is shocking how this government hospital is functioning without proper documentation, CCTV cameras, and data maintenance. No one, including the senior officials, has any answer to our questions.”
The medical superintendent of V S Hospital, Manish Patel, said he had no information. “I am on leave as my father-in-law has passed away,” he said.
An exchange of bodies was reported at V S hospital on May 10 last year. The family of Mittal Jadav, a murdered 19-year-old who had been brought dead to the hospital, was handed the body of 26-year-old Nasreen Sayyed, who died in childbirth.
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