Rotting bodies in Ranchi mortuary await disposal

February 14th, 2010 - 1:31 pm ICT by IANS  

By Nityanand Shukla
Ranchi, Feb 14 (IANS) There is an unbearable stink in the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) here, and it’s coming from the mortuary.

In RIMS, one of the most prominent hospitals in Jharkhand, there are more than 150 bodies rotting in the mortuary - waiting for the last rites. The bodies have been kept in the hospital cold room, some for more than six months.

Against a capacity of 50 bodies which could be kept in the RIMS cold room, more than 150 bodies have been squeezed in, said an official.

“The hospital keeps unclaimed bodies for 72 hours and after that we tell police to dispose of the bodies. It is the duty of the district administration to dispose of the bodies,” M.K. Roy, Superintendent of RIMS, told IANS.

According to sources in RIMS, the bodies cannot be used for medical studies as Jharkhand has yet to formulate a law under the Human Anatomy Act.

“Despite several reminders to police and the district administration, the bodies are lying in the cold room and have begun to stink. The bodies cannot be preserved for a long period of time. Keeping such a large number of bodies is just impossible,” said an RIMS doctor.

According to another doctor, many bodies have been lying in the mortuary for more than a year. “At least 10 bodies have been lying in the hospital for more than a year,” he said.

Police officials maintain they hardly get time to dispose of the bodies.

“The state government should rope in some NGO to dispose of the bodies. Police cannot do everything, given the fact that the crime graph and the Maoist problem are rising in the state,” a police official told IANS.

(Nityanand Shukla can be contacted at

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