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Flowers, tears and anger in last rites

Aug. 14: The coffins bearing the bodies of two ONGC employees who died in Monday’s helicopter crash in the Arabian Sea were flown in from Mumbai this morning.

The body of Sukehndu Dey, an engineer, was driven to his home at Rampurhat in Birbhum and that of Shanti Ranjan Roy, a chemical analyst, was taken to his home in Nadia’s Bethuadahari. Relatives, ONGC officers and colleagues tailed them.

Thousands lined up in front of their homes with flowers in hand and moist eyes.

Roy’s body reached home at 3.45 pm. His wife Bithika broke down as the wood box was being brought down from a van. ONGC officers bore the coffin before laying it down on the courtyard.

Roy’s children — two sons and two daughters — sobbed inconsolably. Sathi, a student of Class XII and the eldest of them, shouted at the officers: “You have brought back my father dead, do not forgive those responsible for it.”

Her sister Bonani, who studies in Class IX, fell senseless when the wreaths were being laid. Not much later, Roy was taken to a Nabadwip crematorium.

Dey was taken to a burning ghat in Tarapith. The scenes at his home before the body was wheeled out were not much different. His mother and neighbours bade their farewell in tears.

Dey was the youngest of three brothers and a sister. Sanjib, his eldest brother, is in the air force and Satyajit looks after the family’s farmland.

Dey made his family proud when he bagged the ONGC job two years ago. He was scheduled to return home this week. He had promised his mother he would get married soon.

The plane carrying the coffins landed in Calcutta at 8.45 am in the presence of a number of waiting ONGC officials.

General manager J.C. Chaturvedi said the company would pay a compensation of Rs 28.5 lakh to the families. ONGC would also provide employment to a member of each family.

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