While 41 out of 47 victims have so far been identified, four decomposed, unidentified bodies as well as a limb and a head remain in the hospitals, with officials looking at next steps to help establish their identities.
Of these, four were taken out of drains on Sunday — three from Gokulpuri and one from Karawal Nagar. A fifth body was found in a drain in Gokulpuri on Monday. While the bodies have been taken to the mortuary at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, GTB hospital has sent the body parts for DNA testing.
Only one body could be identified on Monday — that of 21-year-old Aftab, who was pursuing Class XI from open school. A native of Bijnor, he was the youngest of five brothers. His brother Mohd Qadir (23) had been looking for him since February 26. On Monday, his family identified the body from his yellow jacket and a mole on his face.
According to Aftab’s family, he had come to Delhi a week ago to work and finance his education. He wanted to become a doctor and was working with a shop that makes parts for coolers. The family last spoke to him on February 24. “He and four others came to Delhi with a contractor a week ago. The others said that on February 26, a group of police officers were taking them out when rioters came from behind. We don’t know what happened to Aftab after that,” said his elder brother Firoz Khan (40).
Sitting outside the mortuary, Qadir broke down after he saw his brother’s condition. “His fingers were mangled, and it clearly looked like his hands were tied and he was beaten up badly. It also looks his hair was burnt as the body I saw had no hair on the head. Bohot bura haal kar ke maara hai,” he said. The family had been to every hospital and almost every police station in Northeast Delhi, looking for Aftab.
In cases where the bodies are decomposed and difficult to identify, the forensic team first shows the photograph and belongings of the deceased to the families. “If they are unable to identify the body initially, we wait for 72 hours before conducting the post-mortem. In many cases, before the post-mortem, we issue advertisements in newspapers for families to visit the hospital,” said a senior doctor.
At GTB, the family of Anwar Qassar (58) is awaiting the result of a DNA test to ascertain that a left leg, the only unburnt part of a body, belongs to him. He used to help his daughter, Gulshan (27), financially after her husband lost his eyesight nearly five years ago. He would rear and sell goats for a living. Gulshan said the goats too were burned in the mob attack.
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