Bodies decomposing outside freezer, allege kin of Delhi riot victim

Grieving relatives of the victims say the least the authorities could do is be “sympathetic” to them

Delhi violence aftermath
A woman weeps as she waits to receive the body of her nephew who was killed during clashes in northeast Delhi | PTI Photo

Family members of Ashfaq Hussain, who was killed during the riots in northeast Delhi earlier this week, has alleged the dead bodies of the victims were not kept in the freezer, due to which, they have started decomposing.

“They (the hospital authorities) have not even kept the bodies in a freezer. The bodies have started decomposing and smell is emanating from them,” said Hussain’s brother. Hussain was married on February 14, nearly two weeks before he was killed.

If true, the allegations bring to the fore a serious lack of coordination and delay on the part of the hospital authorities, and their incompetence in handling the situation.

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“The authorities are not doing anything. If the GTB Hospital doesn’t have facilities for conducting autopsy of many bodies in a day, they should have sent the bodies to other hospitals,” said another relative of Hussain.

At least 42 people have died and 200 others injured during the riots in northeast Delhi, which erupted on Sunday night.

Frenzied mobs torched houses, shops, vehicles, a petrol pump and pelted stones at locals and police personnel. Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Yamuna Vihar, Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh and Shiv Vihar are among the areas severely affected by the riots.

Grieving relatives, who lost their loved ones in a communal riot in northeast Delhi, said the least the hospital authorities could do is be “sympathetic” to them.

Delhi violence aftermath
Family members of one of the victims, who was killed during clashes in northeast Delhi, weep outside a mortuary | PTI Photo

The family of Dilbar Singh Negi had come from Uttarakhand to claim his body and said they were made to run for paperwork in a city which they are not familiar with.

“We are from Uttarakhand and we do not know which police station is located where. We were asked to go to Gokalpuri police station for completing the formalities, where we were made to sit the whole day. We have already experienced a tragedy but things like these are more hurting us,” said a family member of Negi.

Many other families said the Delhi Police could have set up a help desk for families.

“There are many families who come here every day and go back dejected. Many of them are uneducated and do not even have relevant documents and face trouble in paperwork. We are trying to assist them,” said Mumtaz, a lawyer from Krishna Nagar, who has been helping families outside the hospital’s mortuary.

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Nasir, brother of Aamir and Hashim, who were killed during the riots, said the family is waiting for the bodies for burial. “The autopsy has not been conducted yet. I have learnt that the autopsy will be conducted tomorrow,” he said.

A family member of a deceased, requesting anonymity, said, “We have heard from other persons too and even experienced ourselves that when we call up the investigating officer of our case for some paperwork, he says he was unwell. Even other families experienced similar things where the IO in case says he was either in the court or posted in the riot-hit area.”

(With inputs from agencies)