BENGALURU: The families of the labourers who died in a wall collapse at Chokkanahalli on Sunday have expressed their inability to come to the city to claim the bodies. When police contacted them, they learned that the family members were extremely poor and completely unaware of what to do and whom to approach.
Many of the labourers who lived with the victims in the sheds stood outside the hospital on Monday, with seemingly no idea of the legal procedures for claiming the bodies. Manik Mandal, brother of one of the victims Tutal Mandal, told Express that the duo came to the city from Hanspur in West Bengal one-and-a-half months ago. None of their family members are in a position to travel all the way to Bengaluru. “The other people who died were also from West Bengal. I am the only blood relative (of Tutal) who is here. We were daily wagers. As we got an attractive package, we came down to Bengaluru,” he said.
Manik said he and his brother lived in different sheds. After work usually, the labourers from the same state used to chat for a while before going to sleep. “There are nearly 15-20 people from our hometown working here. But last night as it was raining, we wound up early and went to sleep.”
Manik spent the day near the morgue, unaware how to claim his brother’s body. He had no documentation proving his relation to Tutal, which police required to hand over the body.
Another labourer said, “We are paid `700 a day. We know the names of the deceased, we don’t know their whereabouts. Like us, even Tutal and his brother got this job through agents.”
Police said they have identified the bodies with the help of the labourers. Confirming that the families were not in a position to come to the city, an officer said, “We will send the bodies to their native places via air by tonight.”