Police plan PCR vans for transporting unidentified bodies

Dignity in death: Currently,police hire a private vehicle or a government hearse to transport unidentified bodies

Written by Shalini Narayan | New Delhi | Published: August 29, 2013 1:33 am

Their identities cannot be ascertained. Nobody comes forward to claim the bodies. Bundled into private vans,often by rag-pickers,the bodies are taken for cremation by police. But Delhi Police have now decided to make the last journey of scores of unidentified bodies found in the capital a dignified affair.

They to have a fleet of PCR vans exclusively for transporting such bodies. A special allowance will also be provided to take care of transportation,postmortem and cremation costs. To start with,15 PCR vans will make up the fleet.

Police officers said currently, there were no dedicated PCR vans to pick up such bodies. Every time the PCR gets call about an unidentified body,they hire a private vehicle or a government hearse to transport it. Sometimes,the officers claimed,police personnel take the help of rag-pickers to pick up and place the body in the vehicle.

“Police personnel attending to such cases are not trained to pick up the bodies. Their job is to attend to the call. If it’s a rag-picker or some poor fellow,they ask for money. Police personnel usually spend from their own pockets because they need someone to load the body into the vehicle,” a senior police officer said.

“When there is no claimant for the body,police conduct the cremation,shelling out money from their own pockets,” the officer added.

Beginning September,every time a PCR van attends to an unidentified body found in the city,the personnel will be given Rs 6,000 to take care of the process of transporting the body to a morgue,conducting the postmortem examination and cremation.

Police data on unidentified bodies reveal that up to July 15 this year,1,565 bodies were found in the city,with North,Central and Railways contributing 61 per cent to the total number of bodies recovered from the capital. Police said they were mulling deploying more PCR vans in these three districts.

According to the data,eight bodies are recovered from the capital every day.

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