Victim's body exhumed

DNA test shows cadaver of Bhimayya Shabadkar had been wrongly identified

The body of one of the victims of the Nanded Express tragedy was exhumed on Wednesday, after DNA tests revealed that it had been handed over to the kin of another victim for cremation.

The body, which was wrongly identified as that of Bhimayya Shabadkar, a former member of the Gulbarga zilla panchayat, was exhumed at Kurkunta village in Sedam taluk under the supervision of taluk executive magistrate and tahsildar Prakash Kudare in the presence of Sudarshan, Deputy Superintendent of Railway Police of Guntakal.

The body was exhumed as it was confirmed through DNA test that it was actually of another victim.

Following the train accident, the wife, daughter and other relatives of Shabadkar had wrongly identified the body of Ishwar Nagure, 68, a native of Aurangabad district in Maharashtra, as that of Shabadkar.

There was ‘undue political pressure’ to release the body of Shabadkar. It was then despatched to Sedam and the last rites were performed on Sunday.

The authorities had imposed a condition that the body can be buried, but not cremated till all the bodies are identified beyond any doubt by DNA test.

The DNA test results showed that the body which had been buried was that of Nagure.
The Railway authorities then sent a requisition to the revenue authorities of Gulbarga district for exhumation of the body, so that it can be taken to the native of Nagure for the last rites.

Rituals to be repeated

A senior Railways official added Bhimayya’s body which was in Victoria Hospital mortuary in Bangalore had been despatched to Sedam in an ambulance on Wednesday afternoon.
The members of Bhimayya’s family are going through untold agony over having to repeat the final rituals.

Ramayya Pujari, former president of the Sedam taluk panchayat and nephew of the deceased leader, told Deccan Herald that the compulsory rituals which needed to be performed in three days had already been performed.

“We were planning to perform more rituals on Wednesday. Following the unfortunate incident of wrong body identification, we dropped the plan. We are awaiting the arrival of Bhimayya’s body and will conduct the last rites on Thursday,” Ramayya said. Bhimayya belonged to the Vaddar (Bhovi) community.

“The family of Bhimayya is in deep shock. But we are left with no alternative, but repeat all the rituals,” Pujary said.

He said there was no clinching evidence to identify the body of Bhimayya.

“The body was identified based on its size by Bhimayya’s wife, daughter and son. Some of us wanted to wait till the DNA results were out. But we were not in a position to ask Bhimayya’s wife to wait further to claim the body,’’ Pujari said.

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