THENI: The son of a 70-year-old man from Nilakottai lodged a police complaint claiming that the body of his father handed over to his family was that of another septuagenarian. The family cremated the body, thinking that it belonged to their recently deceased kin. The alleged mistake took place at the government medical college hospital at K Vilakku here, where the autopsies of both the men had been performed.
According to sources, Ayavu (70), a resident of Kottai in Batalagundu and a cobbler by profession, succumbed on Sunday morning to injuries he sustained in a fall on April 16. An autopsy was performed on his body. The same day, the body of Ramu (73), a resident of E Pudukottai in Periyakulam, was brought to the hospital for postmortem examination; he had died reportedly by suicide. The relatives of Ramu received a body from the mortuary of the hospital the same day, and they, believing that it belonged to Ramu, cremated it.
On Monday morning, Ayavu's son, along with his family members, came to the hospital to receive the body of his father. It was only then that the hospital staff realised that his body had been handed over to the wrong family. Following the incident, Veerakumar, Ayavu's son, lodged a complaint with the K Vilakku police, who launched an investigation.
Speaking to TNIE, the dean of the medical college hospital, Balajinathan, said that Ayavu's body was sent to the mortuary as there was no claimant to the body on the day of his death. But, it was the SI of the Periyakulam station who identified the body of Ramu, and it was the police who brought the body for the autopsy, he said. It was they who identified the body and supervised its transfer to the family members. Nonetheless, the head of the department concerned was carrying out an investigation, he added.
Superintendent of Police (SP) E Sai Charan Tejaswi agreed that police and family members of the deceased would identify the body before and after the postmortem examination. The SP said that an investigation was underway and that proper action would be taken in the case.