The body of a 29-year-old Covid victim was cremated 75 days after his death in Meerut as the family was unable to Rs 15,000 demanded by the hospital to handover the mortal remains to them.
Naresh died of Covid on April 15. But his body was kept in the mortuary at the Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Medical College (LLRMMC) in Meerut. His wife claimed that the hospital authorities refused to release her husband's body without paying Rs 15,000.
Gudiya said she came all the way from Basti district to collect her husband's body. However, she was asked to first submit the money. When she told the hospital management that she has no money, they refused to handover Naresh's body.
"The doctors asked for Rs 15,000 but I did not have the money. They said they would cremate the body," news agency IANS quoted Gudiya, as telling reporters.
Hospital denies allegations
The Meerut hospital has denied the allegations and said that the body was moved to Hapur as no one came to collect it.
"The patient was accompanied by his brother, Vijay. When the patient died on April 15, we called up the number Vijay had given us. It was switched off. The allegation that money was demanded is false. We did not have enough space here so we moved the body to Hapur when no one came forward to claim it," Dr Vidit Dikshit, who oversees the disposal of bodies at the hospital, said.
Meanwhile, the Meerut District Magistrate K.Balaji said that he has set up an inquiry to probe the allegations.
In Hapur, Dr Dinesh Khatri, head of the primary health centre there, said they had been trying to trace the family since then.
"The chief medical officer of Hapur was informed that no one had claimed the body. It was brought here and kept at the mortuary in the G.S. College. After that, we tried to trace the family. Later, we sought help from the police and the phone number that had been given was put under surveillance," he added.
Finally, Gudiya was traced and called to Hapur where the man's cremation was done in her presence on Friday, June 2.
(With inputs from IANS)