Fight over bodies as families hunt for missing after New Delhi blasts

Fight over bodies as families hunt for missing after New Delhi blasts

NEW DELHI – Three Indian families are claiming the bodies of two charred children amid a grim search by relatives for those missing after weekend blasts in New Delhi that claimed 61 lives, newspapers reported yesterday.

The bodies of what appears to be an eight-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy are lying at Safdarjung hospital in south Delhi, where most of the dead from Saturday’s massive blast at Sarojini Nagar market were taken. A group from a village in Haryana state claim the bodies are those of Priyanka and Nikhil Singh, whose parents both died in the blasts, the Indian Express said.But two other families, one from Assam and the other from Delhi, have also staked claim to the bodies.Anupma Gupta, who claims the boy is his son Utkarsh, was in tears.”Why are they doing this to me? Can’t a father recognise his own child? See his photo, do I need to clarify more,” Gupta said.”Now they are saying Utkarsh is not my son.Telling a father to disown his own son.”Apurva Sharma, meanwhile, showing a photo taken just days ago, claimed the girl is Maitreyee, the seven-year-old daughter of his companion Kumud Bhattacharya.The reports said the families had finally agreed to cremate the bodies jointly but that police had said the bodies would be kept for 72 hours before a decision was made.Doctors were taking DNA samples from the bodies so that identification could be made at a later date if necessary.The Express also reported how an anguished search by relatives for a man who had gone missing after a blast at Paharganj market, near the New Delhi railway station, ended in a hospital mortuary when one of them dialled his mobile phone – and a ringing sound came from one of the three bodies laid out before them.The phone call helped them identify the body as that of N.Sivaraman, a 59-year-old Delhi-based railways employee.After further searching of hospitals where the injured and dead were ferried after the peak shopping hour blasts, the family found Sivaraman’s badly injured son Vineet, 24, whose hearing has also been damaged.Meanwhile, school pupil Sonal Sahai has been dialling her father’s mobile number and scanning hospital injury lists ever since she heard news of the blasts, but so far there has been no trace of him.Her father, Atul Sahai, had been shopping at Sarojini Nagar at the time of the blast.His car was found parked nearby.”Why did Papa go there? I told him I didn’t need the jeans,” said the 16-year-old Sahai.She handed out pictures of her father and told reporters, “Please flash it, any information will help.”- Nampa-AFPA group from a village in Haryana state claim the bodies are those of Priyanka and Nikhil Singh, whose parents both died in the blasts, the Indian Express said.But two other families, one from Assam and the other from Delhi, have also staked claim to the bodies.Anupma Gupta, who claims the boy is his son Utkarsh, was in tears.”Why are they doing this to me? Can’t a father recognise his own child? See his photo, do I need to clarify more,” Gupta said.”Now they are saying Utkarsh is not my son.Telling a father to disown his own son.”Apurva Sharma, meanwhile, showing a photo taken just days ago, claimed the girl is Maitreyee, the seven-year-old daughter of his companion Kumud Bhattacharya.The reports said the families had finally agreed to cremate the bodies jointly but that police had said the bodies would be kept for 72 hours before a decision was made.Doctors were taking DNA samples from the bodies so that identification could be made at a later date if necessary.The Express also reported how an anguished search by relatives for a man who had gone missing after a blast at Paharganj market, near the New Delhi railway station, ended in a hospital mortuary when one of them dialled his mobile phone – and a ringing sound came from one of the three bodies laid out before them.The phone call helped them identify the body as that of N.Sivaraman, a 59-year-old Delhi-based railways employee.After further searching of hospitals where the injured and dead were ferried after the peak shopping hour blasts, the family found Sivaraman’s badly injured son Vineet, 24, whose hearing has also been damaged.Meanwhile, school pupil Sonal Sahai has been dialling her father’s mobile number and scanning hospital injury lists ever since she heard news of the blasts, but so far there has been no trace of him.Her father, Atul Sahai, had been shopping at Sarojini Nagar at the time of the blast.His car was found parked nearby.”Why did Papa go there? I told him I didn’t need the jeans,” said the 16-year-old Sahai.She handed out pictures of her father and told reporters, “Please flash it, any information will help.”- Nampa-AFP

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