The process has begun to cremate the 28 unclaimed bodies of the Balasore train tragedy that have been lying at the mortuary of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar, since June 3.
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) on Sunday to cremate the bodies. The process of cremating the bodies began after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) asked the Khurda district collector to initiate steps regarding the disposal of bodies. The cremation will take place within two to three days, official sources said.
The triple-train crash on June 2 claimed 296 lives. While all other bodies were handed over to the relatives of the victims either in Balasore or in Bhubaneswar, the 28 bodies remained unclaimed.
The AIIMS received 162 bodies from Balasore and kept them in the containers and later handed over 134 bodies to the relatives of the victims after identification followed by DNA test. Even after four months, no one has come forward to claim the 28 bodies lying in the morgue. The AIIMS had procured five deep freezer containers from Paradip port to prevent the decay of the mortal remains of the victims.
The CBI is presently investigating the case.
According to the SOP, the BMC will provide two to three body carriers for the smooth transportation of bodies from the AIIMS to the cremation ground.
The SOP says: “The director, AIIMS, shall hand over the 28 unidentified bodies lying in the mortuary of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar to the health officer, BMC following existing rules/ procedures/ rituals/ guidelines of state/central government and NHRC for cremation of the bodies.”
The BMC health officer will receive the bodies and maintain a record of the same. The entire process will be videographed — starting from receiving the bodies at AIIMS to cremation of the bodies — for record purposes.
The assistant health officer of BMC will receive the bodies at the cremation ground at Bharatpur, which is 5km away from the AIIMS.
The mishap took place on June 2 involving Chennai bound Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, the Bangalore-Howrah Superfast Express and a goods train at Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore.