Mangaluru: The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike and the Manava Hakkugala Horata Samiti staged a protest in front of the mortuary at Wenlock Hospital here, on February 25.
Addressing the protesters, Rahim Uchil, a member of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, said that unidentified bodies which are brought to the Wenlock hospital mortuary are sold to medical institutions in Kerala and other districts. “The unclaimed bodies are kept without conducting post mortem for some days. Later, available details are published in the newspapers after which police clearance certificate is obtained to dispose the body. The people working in the mortuary then pass on the information to medical college authorities about the dead bodies. The bodies are then sold against a DD of Rs 10,000 to the hospital.”
Rahim further said that if such unclaimed bodies are left in the mortuary, the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike and the Manava Hakkugala Horata Samiti, if informed, will identify the bodies and dispose them with due respect as per the religious norms. “If the bodies are not claimed, we will claim them and dispose them accordingly. If the body is of a Christian, contact the Christian organization for the final rites. If the body is of a Muslim, there are Muslim organizations to whom the body should be handed over. If the body is of a Hindu, hand it over to Hindu organizations. Don’t ever say that the body is unclaimed,” he said. “When a person is alive, due to poverty or other reasons, he may not be able to live a decent life. But after his death, we can atleast bury or cremate him/her with due respect.” He also said that in the name of unclaimed bodies, bodies are being sold for upto Rs 1 lakh. “We have all the evidence and soon we will expose it to the media.”
Member of the Manava Hakkugala Horata Samiti Haneef said that from the past six months, the bodies have been sold for medical colleges by the Wenlock officials. “We have requested them to hand over the bodies to us so that we can cremate or bury them with due respect, but the hospital authorities said that they cannot handover the bodies as they would not know what we will do with them. We are publishing details of unclaimed bodies in newspapers, so that the family members of the deceased will claim them. But instead of disposing the bodies, the staff working in the mortuary inform medical colleges about the dead bodies. The medical colleges come with Rs 10,000 DD and take the bodies and the hospital authorities sell the dead bodies without post mortem. On February 23, three bodies have been sold and on February 2 bodies have been sold from here. There are still 19 bodies are lying in the mortuary. We have asked the concerned authorities to hand over the bodies to us so that we can cremate or bury them.”
He also said, “We will intensify our protest if the hospital authorities do not stop their business of selling the dead bodies.”