The Inside Story
Ahmdabad - A woman's perseverance and a great deal of luck led to the identification of her husband who died in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts. This has also made her eligible for the compensation of Rs 5 lakh that the government had announced for the kin of the victims.

All this not before two more families lay claim on the body. One of them even got it, performed the last rites and accepted the compensation. However, return of the person they had “cremated” gave a twist to the tale.

Dehgam resident Meena Barot’s husband Chetan went missing on July 26, 2008, the day Ahmedabad was rocked by blasts that claimed 56 people. Meena, then 41, did not panic as Chetan had the habit of going “missing” for days every now and then. A few days later Meena’s son Savan, then 20, saw a government advertisement in a newspaper in which the police had asked people to identify a blast victim.

Meena saw that the deceased man resembled her husband. But before Meena could contact the police, she read in the paper that the police had handed over the body to another family which had identified it as that of Vipul Patel. The Patels had already performed the last rites.

The tale took a twist in October last year when Vipul was found near a temple. Incidentally, Vipul, too, has the habit of roaming around and had not bothered to contact his family all these years. “Vipul’s brother contacted us to inform us about Vipul’s return.

The family also returned the Rs 5-lakh compensation,” said Vaghela. When Meena read about Vipul’s story, she approached the crime branch. Meanwhile, she had written to various authorities, including the CM, seeking their help to trace her husband.

As the crime branch began to probe the case, another woman claimed the man shown in the photograph to be her husband. The officers then conducted DNA tests of the blood stains on the cloth of the man and found that the body was that of Meena’s husband Chetan.

“We’ll soon inform Meenaben of the findings and also initiate the process of getting her the compensation due,” said Vaghela.

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