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Confusion, anguish & Covid funeral — what two families went through after bodies got mixed up

ThePrint's Praveen Jain captures the pain and struggles of two families after a mix-up of bodies at the Maulana Azad mortuary.

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New Delhi: In Delhi’s Maulana Azad Medical College mortuary, two families consoled each other Sunday when they realised the bodies they had come to claim had got mixed up. Worse still, one of them had already been buried.

Both the deceased were named Moinuddin, and were Covid-19 positive at the time of death.

Kalamuddin Rahim, whose father Moinuddin was 65 years old, was admitted to the LNJP Hospital on 2 June after he complained of breathlessness. The hospital authorities informed Kalamuddin that his father had died and asked him to identify the body Saturday, 6 June.

“The face was swollen and had blood stains on it. When I asked the doctors, they said it was because he had undergone dialysis. We accepted the body hurriedly because he was a Covid-19 patient,” he told ThePrint.

He realised much later that he had laid the wrong Moinuddin to rest. The body he claimed and buried belonged to a different family altogether.

The other Moinuddin’s family, meanwhile, gathered at the Maulana Azad mortuary at 9 am Sunday morning, after being informed by the hospital the previous evening to collect his body. His brother Eijaazuddin had made preparations for his funeral, when he showed up at the Maulana Azad mortuary, he found that the body was not of his brother’s.

Kalamuddin, meanwhile, was called back to the hospital. He broke down on realising that he had buried the wrong man.

ThePrint’s Praveen Jain captured the pain and struggles that the two families went through because of the mix-up.

Eijaazuddin and his family prepare for the burial of his brother, Moinuddin, who died of coronavirus, at Jadid Kabristan in ITO | ThePrint Photo | Praveen Jain
Eijaazuddin and his family at the Maulana Azad hospital, waiting to collect the body | ThePrint Photo | Praveen Jain
Kalamuddin, weeping upon seeing his father’s body in the mortuary | ThePrint Photo | Praveen Jain
Kalamuddin outside the Maulana Azad mortuary | ThePrint Photo | Praveen Jain
A Delhi Police officer in conversation with both families outside the LNJP hospital. The families resolved the issue amiably | ThePrint Photo | Praveen Jain
Eijaazuddin and brother Aninuddin talking to Kalamuddin after realising the mix-up | ThePrint Photo | Praveen Jain
Dr Amandeep Kaur, doctor in charge at the mortuary, speaking to both families | ThePrint Photo | Praveen Jain
A police officer in PPE noting down the names of each family members outside the LNJP | ThePrint Photo | Praveen Jain
Kalamuddin shows Aninuddin where he buried his brother at the Jadid Kabristan in ITO | ThePrint Photo | Praveen Jain
Eijaazuddin prays at his brother’s grave | ThePrint Photo | Praveen Jain


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