Body in mortuary for a month as police look for family

An unidentified body of a young woman,who seemed to be in her 30s,with severe stab wounds on the neck and abdomen slashed open,had been lying in the mortuary of Rao Tula Ram (RTR) Hospital for one month and 11 days.

Written by Pritha Chatterjee | New Delhi | Published:May 28, 2013 2:35 am

An unidentified body of a young woman,who seemed to be in her 30s,with severe stab wounds on the neck and abdomen slashed open,had been lying in the mortuary of Rao Tula Ram (RTR) Hospital for one month and 11 days. On Tuesday afternoon,police authorities finally gave the go-ahead to the hospital to perform her post-mortem examination.

Authorities at the forensic medicine department of the hospital said woman’s viscera had been preserved and sent to CFSL to confirm sexual assault.

Dr T K Prasad,in charge of the mortuary,said the body was brought by officials of the Chhawla police station on April 17.

“Normally in case of unidentified bodies,the autopsy is conducted after 72 hours. Sometimes,police ask for extensions. In this woman’s case,we received 13 requests for extension — one every third or fourth day,” Dr Prasad said.

The body was preserved in the cold storage area,where a temperature of around four degrees is maintained. When asked about possible degradation of crucial evidence due to the delay,Dr Prasad said it was “unlikely”. Sources who were present during the post-mortem examination,however,said,confirmation of sexual assault and identification of the weapon used might be difficult due to the delay in conducting the autopsy.

The hospital had written to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest) earlier this month,requesting to expedite the identification process so that her autopsy could be conducted.

Till Tuesday morning,there were no plans to proceed with the examination,officials at the mortuary told Newsline. But,by afternoon,it was rushed in as the fourth case of the day.

Dr Prasad said police authorities “had suddenly” given the go ahead around 2.30 pm.

Police said the body was found near a stream in the border areas.

DCP (Southwest) A K Ojha said since there were no identification marks on her body,a photograph had been sent to all police stations to match with records of missing persons.

“We also checked DD entries across police stations to check for missing complaints. The SHO of Chhawla police station had sent several requests to extend the preservation of the body as we hoped there would be a claimant for the body.”

He said a case of murder had been registered in the matter.

Previous case

In January 2012,three police men — two assistant sub-inspectors and a head constable — were suspended after the unidentified body of a 35-year-old man was kept in DDU Hospital’s mortuary for six months even as his family members kept making the rounds of a police station to trace him.

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