In this Jaipur police station, post mortems have been done in an old, rusty truck for 30 years
Police say they will move post mortem procedures to a new facility in a few days.
The sight of lifeless bodies strewn across a rusty truck might seem gruesome and inhuman but it’s quite common at Bassi police station in Rajasthan’s capital of Jaipur.
In absence of a mortuary, for the last three decades the post-mortem of bodies has been conducted inside a truck confiscated a long time back by the police.
Replete with dried leaves, bloodstains and pieces of torn cloths, the truck stands in the middle of the compound where the police station is situated.
“The post-mortem of bodies has to be conducted inside the truck because there is no mortuary near the police station. Unknown bodies which can be kept for 3-4 days are sent to the SMS Hospital which is around 25 kilometers away,” Virendra Singh, station house officer, Bassi police station told HT.
Singh added that when it came to instances where the relatives needed the body to be released for last rites, the situation became difficult.
“In such a case, the post-mortem has to be done early so that the body can be handed over to the relatives. In absence of a mortuary, the post-mortem is conducted over the open truck,” said the SHO.
The relatives wait for the body of their loved ones, as just a few meters away from them the body is dissected for autopsy.
The police say that the foul smell coming from the body often results into inconveniences for their families living in the quarters adjacent to the police station.
“The smell is definitely bothersome as a post-mortem is supposed to happen inside a mortuary not in the open. After a period of at least 30 years, a room in the local community health centre (CHC) has been zeroed in by the health department where the post-mortem will take place in the future,” said the SHO.
However, when HT contacted Dinesh Mittal, the in-charge of the CHC in Bassi, he said that the decision is facing flak from the residents living near the health centre.
“It has been almost finalised that the postmortems will take place at a room in the CHC. But the centre is located in a very crowded area and the local residents are opposing this decision as they are against shifting of a mortuary near their houses owing to foul smell,” said Mittal.
Officials said that recently the state human rights commission had also raised the issue and had asked the health department to shift the mortuary.
“The decision has been taken to shift the mortuary and a room has been identified. We have assured the opposing residents that the height of the wall near their house will be increased so that they are not bothered by the smell,” Prabhudayal Sharma, sub divisional magistrate, Bassi told HT.
He added that postmortem at the new facility are scheduled to start in a few days.