Bereaved family members at the resident of Ajit Saikia at Bokakhat  Credit: EastMojo Image

Bokakhat: Ajit Saikia (64), a retired Assam government agriculture department official, died at a Delhi hospital. His family was informed only after 10 days. The distraught family are calling out the Delhi government for its callous handling of the situation. “They are irresponsible and inhuman. They were sitting around a dead body without informing us for a full ten days’” says an angry family member who does not wish to be named.

The family claims that they were told that the Saika was alright and gradually improving. In a shocking turn of events, they got a call some days later informing them that he had died almost 10 days back and the body is laying at the morgue.

Ajit Saikia (64), had accompanied his wife, Banti Saikia, a cancer patient to Delhi’s Gangaram Hospital from Guwahati on March 11. One of their relatives Kankanjyoti Bora was also with them.

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While Banti Saikia was getting treatment at Gangaram Hospital, Ajit Saikia and Kankanjyoti tested COVIFD-19 positive and all there were shifted to Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi for better treatment on April 29. However, as condition of Ajit Saikia allegedly deteriorated, he was shifted to Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Narayan Hospital for plasma therapy.

Ajit Saikia (64) was a retired employee of Assam state agriculture department

Meanwhile, in subsequent tests, Banti Saikia and Kankanjyoti recovered and started looking for Ajit. Upon inquiry at the Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Narayan Hospital, they were repeatedly assured that he was doing well and improving.

However, to their utter horror, a message was sent to the family members on May 16, Saturday informing that Ajit Saikia dead due to COVID-19.

Assam government officials in New Delhi then swung into action – they cam to know that Ajit Saikia had passed away on May 7, ten days ago and his body was lying in the morgue.

Expressing serious concern over the development, Assam MLA, who is also the chairman of Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC), Jayanta Malla Baruah, has termed it as an irresponsible attitude of Delhi government and has condemned the incident.

“I must say that it’s the reflection of the irresponsible attitude of the Delhi government. How they can behave like this. They have everything, right from phone number to the home addresses of the deceased. The wife and one of the attendants are there in Delhi itself. It’s utter negligence,” Baruah regretted.

Urging the Assam government to take initiative so that Banti Saikia and Kankanjyoti Saikia can return to the state safely, some of the relatives of the deceased have also requested the state government to order for a high-level inquiry into the whole incident.

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How can they sit around a dead body for 10 days and not doing anything? Why they were telling lies to the family members?” younger sister of the deceased alleged.

Meanwhile, the body of Ajit Saikia will be cremated as per standing norms in presence of official representatives of Assam government in New Delhi. Later, video footage and pictures relating to the cremation will be officially submitted to the bereaved family members of the deceased.

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