Balasore Train Accident: The death toll in the horrific train accident in Balasore, Odisha is more than 275. At the same time, more than 1000 people have been injured. Of these, 790 passengers have been discharged after treatment. The rest are undergoing treatment. The biggest problem is related to the identity of the dead in the train accident. Still the dead bodies of more than 100 people have not been identified. He was sent to Bhubaneshwar AIIMS after the Odisha government’s order to save unclaimed dead bodies from rotting. According to doctors, dead bodies start decomposing rapidly after a maximum of 7 days. The question arises that what will the Government or the Railways do with the unclaimed dead bodies if they are not identified in such a situation.
When talking to Indian Railways spokesperson Amitabh Sharma about the unclaimed dead bodies, he said that it does not come under the jurisdiction of the Railways to preserve the dead bodies of the dead in train accidents or to declare them unclaimed and perform the last rites. State governments have the right to decide on this. These state governments have to decide for how long to preserve the dead body in such big accidents and when to declare it unclaimed and perform the last rites. So, first let us know what are the rules regarding the preservation of unclaimed dead bodies and the last rites?
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Police starts identification exercise
When people die on a large scale in an accident, some dead bodies are not even identified. At the same time, it takes a lot of time to identify some. According to the rules, whenever the police finds an unclaimed dead body, the district SP is first informed. After this, the exercise to confirm the identity of the dead body is started by preparing the report. For this, information about the body of the deceased is sent to the police stations of the state and the control rooms of the neighboring states. After this, it is ascertained whether the post-mortem of the dead body is to be done or not, the death is natural, has happened in an accident or has been murdered.
Generally, the police wait for the relatives of the deceased for more than 4 days, because it is very difficult to preserve the dead body more than this. (File photo- AP)
This method is adopted for identification
Police adopts many methods to identify the dead body. For this, the police try to identify the person by finding any tattoo, any birth mark, any piece of paper on the body of the deceased. Names of many people, religious symbols, name of husband or wife, getting a tattoo makes it easy to identify. In some states, police stations are linked through a WhatsApp group. On this, the first message is sent informally in cases of unclaimed dead bodies. After this, advertisements are given in newspapers for the identification of the dead.
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How many days do the relatives wait
Generally, the police wait for the relatives of the deceased for more than 4 days, because it is very difficult to preserve the dead body more than this. When the body is not identified, the police declares the dead body unclaimed and performs the last rites. After this, the clothes of the deceased and other things related to it are deposited in the Malkhana. The dead body is usually taken to the mortuary wrapped in a sheet. Then they are kept in cold storage on stretchers. Doctors do not touch the dead body until the papers of investigation or official documents of investigation are received.
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the real problem lies in the funeral
The biggest problem faced by the police is in the last rites of unclaimed dead bodies. If any religious symbol is found on an unclaimed dead body, then on the basis of that it is burnt or buried and cremated. If somehow the religion of the dead body cannot be decided, then usually the police only cremate it. If the religion is decided and the dead body has to be buried, then the dead body is handed over to the Waqf Board of the state.
In most cases, the police perform the last rites only after keeping the unclaimed dead body safe for more than a week.
State government decides the period
According to Allahabad High Court advocate Anandpati Tiwari, in most cases the police perform the last rites after keeping the unclaimed dead body safe for more than a week. But, when the identity of the dead is not known on a large scale in a case like the Odisha train accident, it becomes very difficult to preserve them. According to him, normally in the summer season, the dead body starts decomposing within 2 to 3 days. After this, a foul smell starts coming from the dead body. Think, how terrible the stench of more than 100 dead bodies would be. In such a situation, if the state government does not have cremation or cold storage facility, then it has the right to conduct the last rites within 3 days. However, in the present case, the Odisha government has ordered the preservation of the dead bodies till their identification.
Tags: Cremation of unclaimed dead bodies, Odisha government, Odisha Train Accident, train accident
FIRST PUBLISHED : June 06, 2023, 19:42 IST