Ranchi, Feb. 12: At least five unclaimed bodies carrying Bihar labels are being recovered on an average every month from the remote parts of Jharkhand.
Such corpses have wounds inflicted by either bullets or sharp weapons, fuelling fears that criminals operating in Bihar might be dumping their prey in the interiors of Jharkhand to avoid detection.
Records recovered by the police last month and sent to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) here reveal that one such body was recovered from the interior parts of Bero under Ranchi district early last month. The post-mortem carried out by RIMS doctors established a close-range bullet wound in the head as the cause of death. The deceased’s shirt and trousers bore a Patna tailor’s label.
Sources said police enquiries at the address on the label failed to establish the identity of the dead as the tailor denied knowledge of the whereabouts of all clients.
The post-mortem records maintained by RIMS reveal that on an average, over 1,500 corpses are recovered every year by the state police from various parts of Jharkhand. The records state that though the majority of the corpses are claimed by the next of kin over a period of time, at least 60 to 70 remain unclaimed.
The records state that from January to December 2002, 1,565 corpses were recovered by the police of which more than 70 bodies remained unclaimed. In January last year, nine such bodies remained unclaimed, though for the corresponding period this year the total tally stood at three.
The records reveal that most of these unclaimed bodies bear shirt or trouser labels from various parts of Bihar. The sources said the monthly average of five or more than 60 corpses in a year have remained constant even after Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar on November 15, 2000.
They added that all unclaimed corpses are either sent to the RIMS anatomy department for dissection by medical students or handed over to the police who later dispose of the bodies. The photographs of the unclaimed bodies are kept in the criminal digest.
Ranchi senior superintendent of police M.V. Rao, however, said the perception that Bihar criminals could be dumping their victims’ bodies in Jharkhand seemed far-fetched. The SSP said that carrying bodies over a long distance was a risky affair. But in the bordering areas of the two states, corpses could be dumped along the national highways by passing vehicles.
Rao said one possibility was that over the ages, some Jharkhand regions have been a favourite hunting ground for Bihar criminals. “In the event some of these criminals get killed, nobody comes forward to claim their bodies,” he added.
Rao said there were other categories of people from Bihar who flock to Jharkhand in search of livelihood. “A number of these men who get involved with local women is murdered, though no one comes forward to claim their bodies,” he added.