Odisha train accident: Woman portrays husband as ‘dead’ to get ex-gratia amount

Cuttack: In a bizarre incident, a woman allegedly declared her husband as deceased in an attempt to claim the ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh provided by the Odisha government to the families of victims in the Balasore train accident.

The incident unfolded in Maniabandha village of Cuttack district and came to light when her husband filed a written complaint with police while the woman is now on the run, fearing arrest.

According to reports, Geetanjali Datta and her husband Bijay Datta have been living separately for the past 13 years. However, Geetanjali reportedly used to lodge false complaints against Bijay in order to harass him.

Recently, Bijay discovered that Geetanjali had traveled to Balasore with the intention of fraudulently claiming the ex-gratia amount provided by the state government.

She attempted to portray Bijay as deceased to avail the amount. However, she returned empty-handed as she failed to provide the necessary documents to support her claims.

Upon learning about Geetanjali’s fraudulent actions, Bijay filed a written complaint against his wife and demanded that strict legal action be taken against her.

Numerous reports have surfaced regarding futile and fraudulent attempts by people trying to claim compensation, prompting the Odisha government to issue a warning. Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena has urged the Railway authorities and the Odisha police to take strong measures against such deceptive claimants.

It is worth mentioning that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the deceased, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh.

Furthermore, the Railway Ministry has declared compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the families of those who lost their lives in the train accident.

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