Tragedy befell a Bengali family in Vejalpur not once but twice on Diwali. First, they lost an elderly female member of the family and later when they went to the hospital to collect the body, they were shocked to find out that another family had already cremated it.

Deceased Lekha Chand, 70, was a resident of SBI staff society in Vejalpur. Her husband Pranabkumar Chand, 80, is a retired SBI employee. The couple lived with their elder son and his wife while the younger son is settled in Canada.

According to the deceased’s daughter-in-law Binita Chand, her husband tested positive for Covid on November 5 and was admitted to the hospital. Her father-in-law too tested positive and was home-quarantined. On November 10, Lekha Chand suddenly complained of breathing difficulty and the family members decided to rush her to the hospital. But she died on the way. Since her younger son was in Canada, the family decided to place the body in the hospital’s cold storage around 2 am on November 11.

On Sunday morning, when the family came to the hospital to collect the body, they were handed over the body of another woman. Lekha Chand’s body is said to have been collected by the family of Rajeev Bagadia, a resident of Paldi, on November 13 and later cremated.

Talking to Mirror, Binita Chand said, “This is gross negligence on part of the hospital as well as the family who collected the dead body. My mother-in-law wore the shakha-pola on the hand and sindoor on her forehead. The family which collected her body claims to have changed her into new clothes for cremation. How did they not realise that it was not their family member?”

PI G K Bharwad, Ellisbridge police station incharge, said, “There were two bodies, one of Divyaben and the other of Lekhaben. Divyaben’s family members took Lekhaben’s body. The RMO and the police have conducted an initial inquiry. Appropriate action will be taken.” “We have received an application from the Chand family,” he added. VS Hospital RMO Dr Jitu Parmar did not receive calls made by Mirror.

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