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Month After Rail Mishap, Man Still Awaits Brother’s Body

Bhubaneswar: Odisha train tragedy.
Photo Credit : IANS

Bhubaneswar: One month ago, the tragic triple train accident involving Coromandel Express and Yeshwantpur Howrah Express occurred in Odisha’s Bahanaga Bazaar in Balasore.

The mishap shook the entire country and devastated many families as at least 293 people were killed and over 1000 injured in India’s worst train accident in the last three decades.

After the news flashed, the family members of passengers started searching for their loved ones. Over 210 people were able to identify bodies of their family members and performed their last rites. Those who found their loved ones in hospitals with injuries were lucky.

However, even though one month has passed since the incident, many families are still waiting for their family members. West Bengal’s Ashok Rabidas is one of them. He is waiting for the authorities to allow him to take the mortal remains of his younger brother Krishna Rabidas (22).

After roaming from one hospital to another, Ashok Rabidas reached AIIMS Bhubaneswar where dead bodies of unidentified persons were preserved.

To identify the body of his brother Krishna, the AIIMS authority has sent DNA samples of Ashok and the concerned body to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, DNA reports of 29 bodies matching with their claimants have been received by the AIIMS Bhubaneswar.  However, Krishna’s DNA report has not arrived, said Ashok.

Ashok, a native of Harischandanpur Tripletala village of Malda in West Bengal, was staying here at a guest house provided by railways. As the waiting is not over and he has to return to his work, Ashok left for his village four days back and now his brother Sibcharan Rabidas is waiting in Bhubaneswar for Krishna’s  body.

Sharing his story with IANS, Ashok said that Krishna worked as a daily wage labourer in Bangalore since July 2022, where he laid underground pipes. On June 2 he was returning home in the Yeshwantpur Howrah Express for his younger sister’s wedding.

“My sister’s wedding was scheduled for June 12.  Now, it has been cancelled. Discussion was also initiated with the family members of a girl for Krishna marriage as well. We had planned to conduct Krishna’s wedding after our sister’s. However, the accident spoiled everything,” said Ashok.

“My father and mother are completely broken down after the incident. More worrisome is that we have yet to get the body of our brother, due to which, nothing is normal in our house. Even my family members have been following all the rituals when someone dies in a Hindu family since the accident,” he said.

Similarly, Sibakanta Roy from Cooch Behar district of West Bengal is in trauma as the body of his son Bipul Roy was taken away by another family from Bihar.

“I was in Arunachal Pradesh when I came to know about the accident. I immediately went home and requested our BDO to arrange a vehicle for me. He arranged it and I arrived at Balasore,” Roy said.

After searching here and there, the father came across the picture of Bipul on a wall among the photographs of all deceased persons. Stunned, Sibakanta, when sought his son’s body, came to know that someone from Bihar had already taken it.

“After reaching AIIMS Bhubaneswar, I came to know that my son’s body was taken by someone else. Now what can I do? asked Roy.

Out of 293 persons who died in the tragic train accident on June 2 evening, unidentified 81 dead bodies were stored in AIIMS Bhubaneswar, of which 29 have been identified through DNA testing. Another 52 bodies are yet to be identified.

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