Odisha train crash: Woman fakes husband’s death to claim ex gratia

The woman, identified as Gitanjali Dutta, was lured by the Rs 10 lakh compensation and her bluff called as police find her husband alive and well.

Published: 06th June 2023 12:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2023 12:31 PM   |  A+A-

Odisha train accident

Ariel view of the triple train crash in Odisha. (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)

By Express News Service

BALASORE:  Lured by the Rs 10 lakh compensation announced for the kin of persons killed in the Bahanaga train accident, a woman of Cuttack tried to pass off her husband as one of the victims by producing fake documents on Monday.

The woman, identified as Gitanjali Dutta (35) of Maniabandha village within Badamba police limits in Cuttack, approached the Industrial Town police in Balasore claiming that her 40-year-old husband Bijay Dutta was killed in the tragic mishap. However, her bluff was called as police found her husband alive and well.

Sources said accompanied by a man, Gitanjali on Sunday went to the mishap site at Bahanaga and asked locals about the whereabouts of bodies retrieved from mangled coaches of the Coromandel Express. She claimed that her husband was one of the victims travelling in the ill-fated train.

The woman then went to the premises of the business park of the North Orissa Chamber of Commerce and Industry where the bodies had been kept. She started to wail before the police claiming that she is unable to find the body of her husband even after searching SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack and the accident site at Bahanaga. 

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Police said to authenticate her claims, she also submitted a photocopy of her husband’s Aadhaar card.
On verifying the document, police were shocked to find the age of Gitanjali to be 60 though she looked much younger. The Industrial Town police immediately rang their Badamba counterparts in Cuttack and sought details about the woman and her husband.

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Within a few moments, Badamba police confirmed that Bijay was alive and he did not travel in Coromandel Express as claimed by Gitanjali. It was also found that the woman forged the Aadhaar card to claim the compensation amount of Rs 10 lakh.

Police personnel present at the spot detained the woman and informed their higher officials about the situation. Sources said top officials of the district police directed the cops to release the woman to avoid ‘unnecessary tension’. Subsequently, Gitanjali was let off with a warning.


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