Human Skeletons Found Near Muzaffarpur Hospital Grappling With Encephalitis Deaths, Probe Ordered
One or two of the bodies were reportedly found charred and many skeletons were found strewn on the ground or stuffed into sacks in the forest area.
Police officials investigate the human skeletal remains found behind Sri Krishna Medical College & Hospital, in Muzaffarpur. (PTI)
New Delhi: Human skeletal remains were found lying in the open in a forest near the government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district where over 130 children have died of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).
Photographs showed deformed human bones and broken skull fragments lying behind the hospital compound.
Bihar: Human skeletal remains found behind Sri Krishna Medical College & Hospital, Muzaffarpur. 108 people have died at SKMCH due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). pic.twitter.com/ICRcg3Be1e— ANI (@ANI) June 22, 2019
The police, accompanied by a team from the hospital, have reportedly visited the spot. "Skeletal remains have been found here. Detailed information will be provided by the principal," said Dr Vipin Shah from the hospital.
The residents of a nearby colony have claimed that unclaimed bodies are burnt in the backyard of the hospital and the hospital administration has turned a deaf ear to such incidents.
SKMCH is considered to be north Bihar's biggest hospital, where a large number of postmortem exams are done for unclaimed bodies. As per procedure, if no one turns up to claim a body for 72 hours, it is the duty of the postmortem department to bury or burn the body as per the dead person's religion.
One or two of the bodies were reportedly found charred and many skeletons were found strewn on the ground or stuffed into sacks in the forest area. "After postmortem, all the bodies are dumped in the forest behind the hospital. I never tried to ask the authorities about these skeletons," Janak Paswan, caretaker of the hospital, told news agency ANI. The abandoned skeletons were neither burnt nor buried.
SKMCH Superintendent Dr Sunil Kumar Shahi said he had ordered an internal inquiry after parts of deformed human bones and broken skull were found. The skeletal remains could have been disposed of by the postmortem department of the hospital, he said, admitting it should have been done with a more "humane approach. "The postmortem department is under the principal... I'll ask him to constitute an investigating committee,” he said.
SKMCH principal Dr Vikas Kumar told News 18 that a three-member team has been formed to investigate the matter. "Let us wait for the report, then only we will be able to tell you the truth," he said.
Sona Prasad Singh, SHO Ahiyapur, Muzaffarpur, later said, “After an investigation, it has been found that unclaimed bodies were burnt here."
Muzaffarpur District Magistrate Alok Ranjan Ghosh said he had asked health department officials to investigate the recovery and submit a report to him. "A team has already visited the site of the recovery. It will submit a report soon," said Ghosh.
Reacting to the incident, RJD leader Ramai Ram said, "It is sad to know how unclaimed bodies are treated in SKMCH. This must be inquired into and the culprit brought to justice.”
(With inputs from agencies)
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