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Rajasthan: Bodies of Gujjar protestors remain unclaimed
May 31, 2008 16:42 IST
Despite an appeal by the authorities, no one has turned up so far to claim the bodies of 14 people, who died in violence during the ongoing Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan.
The police had made a public appeal through advertisements in local papers, asking relatives to collect the bodies lying at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur. It said that in case they were not taken, their last rites would be performed as per law.
"We have waited for the relatives at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital's mortuary, where the bodies have been kept for the last nine days, in cold storage," Superintendent of Police (Jaipur East) V K Singh told PTI.
"Till a day ago, the relatives were adamant on taking the bodies then and there, but they all just disappear," he said.
However, Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla questioned the government appeal, saying, "The bodies have been identified and they are our men. How can the government say that they will be declared unclaimed?"
He claimed that a medical team from AIIMS is expected by Saturday evening and they would conduct the post-mortems.
"As a medical team from AIIMS is supposed to do the post-mortems, the administration cannot say this. If they keep saying this, then violence will erupt," Bainsla said.
The 14 people were killed in violence during the agitation on May 23 and 24. Some of the bodies of other protestors, killed in the agitation, are being held by the protesters while others are lying in hospitals.
Health Minister N S Rajvi said hospitals in Jaipur, Sikandra, Bharatpur, Bayana and Sawai Madhopur are well-equipped to conduct post-mortems. A separate medical board has been set up, Rajvi said.
He warned that if relatives did not collect the bodies, their cremation or last rites would be done as per the law.
In the advertisement, the police said the bodies would be declared as unclaimed and after a panchnama, the last rites would be done by the Jaipur Municipal Corporation or NGOs.
Protesters have also been holding 12 bodies at Pilupura, six at Sikandra and two at Sawai Madhopur while four bodies are lying in the Bharatpur District Hospital mortuary.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police (Sawai Madhopur) Jose Mohan told PTI that protesters were on an indefinite sit-in, keeping the bodies of the two victims of Friday's violence on the Sawai Madhopur-Shivpur highway, near Kushalipura-Darra.
The road has now been blocked for three days in a row, the SP said, but added there has been no fresh untoward incident.
The death toll in the ongoing Gujjar agitation has risen to 38, including the two casualties on Friday.