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Mundka Fire: 16 Bodies Still Unidentified; Families of three Victims Perform Last Rites

On May 13, a massive fire broke out in a four-storey commercial building in outer Delhi's Mundka, leaving 27 people dead.

New Delhi:  The family of Madhu Devi, a victim of the Mundka fire, finally performed her last rites on Wednesday, almost a month after the incident that claimed lives of 27 people.

Madhu's husband Amit Kumar said that the last few weeks had been nothing less than a nightmare. "We knew she is no more. But as her body was not identified, we had a small hope," he said.

Madhu was among the three victims whose bodies were identified on Tuesday. So far, 11 of the 27 bodies have been identified and handed over to their family members.

Madhu is survived by her husband and two pre-teen daughters. "We had our wedding anniversary on May 20. Who will take care of our children?" Amit asked.

Amit said he was relieved that at least her last rites have been performed with proper rituals. "We have had many sleepless nights as we wanted to perform last rites for her soul," he said.

 The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) on Tuesday handed over the DNA profiles of three unidentified bodies to the police. With the help of the DNA profiles, the victims were identified as Madhu Devi, a resident of Mundka, Narender, a resident of Prem Nagar, and Muskan, a resident of Kirari Suleman Nagar.

The bodies of the three victims were handed over to the families.

"Every single day was like a mountain," said Ismail Khan (25), the brother of Muskan as he was preparing for her last rites.

"I felt a sudden heartbreak after receiving her body, as I had some hope that she would be back," Ismail said over phone.

The wait was "unbearable" for the family who has lost two members in the past eight months. Muskan was the sole earning member of the family.

"We were daily visiting the police station and the hospital but had to come back home empty-handed," Ismail said.

Talking with PTI, Ismail expresses his unhappiness with the investigation in the case.

"Police investigation is going very slow. We want a CBI inquiry and a government job for a family member," he said.

On May 13, a massive fire broke out in a four-storey building in outer Delhi's Mundka, leaving 27 people dead.

All 27 bodies were preserved at the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital and the blood samples of the family members of the victims were sent to the FSL for DNA profiling and matching.

"We have formed multiple teams for the DNA examination… Now that we have received the samples, we are proceeding with the entire process of DNA profiling. Since it is a complex process, it takes time,” an FSL official had earlier said, adding that DNA sampling generally takes about one to two weeks, depending also on the condition of the samples.

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