Driver roams with body in ambulance for five days

February 23rd, 2008 - 12:19 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) A driver with a private hospital roamed the city’s roads for five days with the body of a domestic help packed in ice in his ambulance, for a princely sum of Rs.2,000 a day. The domestic help, Shanti Devi, hailing from Jharkhand and working with Rani Bagh resident C.P. Sabharwal for the past five years, was said to have died Feb 16 due to tuberculosis.

According to the police, she died Feb 16 and Sabharwal hired an ambulance from a private nursing home in Hari Nagar, west Delhi, to preserve her body in ice. He paid the driver Rajinder Rs.2,000 a day to take the body around in the ambulance. Sabharwal reportedly informed the woman’s family of her death only Feb 19.

The matter came to light after Shanti Devi’s relatives arrived in Delhi on hearing on the woman’s death. When Sabharwal refused to tell them where the body was, the police were informed.

Thursday, the police found the ambulance parked in Punjabi Bagh area of west Delhi. Driver Rajinder is absconding.

Thipu Thete, father of Shanti Devi, told reporters that his family was informed of her death three days later, Feb 19.

“Earlier, Sabharwal used to tell us about her tuberculosis. But why did he this time inform us three days after she died of the disease and why was her body being moved on Delhi’s roads for five days?” Thete asked.

“Sabharwal didn’t tell us where her body was. The police only acted after we approached them with some NGO activists,” he added.

Shanti Devi’s parents alleged there were bruise marks on her body and stains of dried blood near her mouth.

Her family members demonstrated at the Saraswati Vihar police station in northwest Delhi Friday afternoon for nearly three hours, demanding a medical examination of the body to find the cause of the death. They were accompanied by 100 members of the NGO, Seva Bharti.

The police have now taken steps to set up a panel of doctors to probe the death. No arrests have been made so far.

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