NEWS

Family Finds Out Deceased Has Been Dead Over A Year

“My daughter, Pooja Chand was getting married in October and we wanted to inform him,” Ms Wati of Vunivau, Labasa said.
15 Mar 2019 10:26
Family Finds Out Deceased Has Been Dead Over A Year
Chandra Wati (right) with her daughter Pooja Chand showing a photo of the family’s happier days in Labasa on March 14, 2019. Photo: Shratika Naidu

A Labasa family is in shock after they were told that Rajnishwar Chand’s body was at the Suva Morgue for over a year now.

Chandra Wati, 52, wife of the deceased said the last time they were in phone contact was in January 2018.

“My daughter, Pooja Chand was getting married in October and we wanted to inform him,” Ms Wati of Vunivau, Labasa said.

“In 2006 we got separated and he moved to Suva to live with his relatives.

“He didn’t have a fixed address in Suva and whenever he wanted to come to Labasa to spend some time with the daughter he would make a call.

“We didn’t try to contact anyone after that because we thought he didn’t want to talk to us,” Ms Wati said.

Chandra Wati (right) with her daughter Pooja Chand showing a photo of the family’s happier days in Labasa on March 14, 2019. Photo: Shratika Naidu

Chandra Wati (right) with her daughter Pooja Chand showing a photo of the family’s happier days in Labasa on March 14, 2019. Photo: Shratika Naidu

“It wasn’t until Wednesday when I received a call from his brother-in-law saying that he passed away at Raiwaqa Health Centre last year in March and Police transferred his body to the Suva Morgue since no one came forward to identify him.

“He was a Social Welfare recipient and stayed with his family in Suva.

“Suva Morgue I believe cannot keep a body for one year.

“Police should have done more to get this sorted out.

“My husband was 64 years old.

The late Rajnishwar Chand.

The late Rajnishwar Chand.

“I am wondering who is responsible and why we were not informed.”

Meanwhile, Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the death of the victim was referred to them by doctors at the Raiwaqa Health centre as they did not have sufficient information to identify the deceased.

“Officers from Raiwaqa had conducted enquiries to try and ascertain the victim’s identity and there were no missing  person’s reports lodged at any station by relatives,” Ms Naisoro said.

“As the body remained unidentified, health officials sought the assistance of the Police and a public request was sent out a few days ago and a relative residing in Suva came forward and identified the man to be his cousin who was homeless at the time of his death.

“There was no missing person’s report lodged by any of the relatives and enquiries were made in the hope of identifying the victim.”

An email was sent to the officer in charge of the Suva Morgue and a phone call was also made yesterday.

She told the Fiji Sun via a phone call that she made numerous efforts communicating and enquiring with Police about this situation and nothing was done.

And she confirmed the body was kept for a year.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

Feedback: shratikan@fijisun.com.fj

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