IMRAN AHMED SIDDIQUI
Nandigram, March 21: Eight days after the firing in Nandigram killed at least 14 people, a solitary body remained unclaimed at the Tamluk sub-divisional hospital’s morgue.
“Of the 14 bodies, one of a youth in his early 20s has been lying unclaimed. According to rules, the body has to be disposed of by tomorrow if nobody comes to claim it,” S. Patra, the hospital’s superintendent, said.
“The body is fully decomposed. We have informed the district magistrate about the body and are awaiting police instructions,” Patra added.
The post-mortem report revealed that the youth had died after being hit by a bullet. “The bullet pierced his chest,” Patra said.
Tamluk police station officer-in-charge Subhankar Dey said it is not clear from where the body was brought. “We do not know whether the body was brought from Khejuri or Bhangabera. Our officers visited the two villages and asked people to come to identify the body but they could not.”
A day after the firing, several villagers, whose family members had gone missing from the two villages, visited the morgue but could not identify the body.
“Two days ago, a woman who was also injured in the firing came to the morgue with some villagers. Her son is missing. But she said it was not her son’s body,” an employee of the morgue said.
The hospital superintendent had sent to the two villages officials who made an announcement over the public address system in the hope that people would come forward to claim the body.
“I think the mystery surrounding the body will remain. We tried our best,” Patra said.
Fifty-five people, including 33 women, are being treated at the hospital.
“Some of them have bullet wounds while others have injuries on the head and chest from the police lathicharge,” the hospital superintendent said.
“Of the 73 people who were brought to the hospital since March 14, we have referred 17 to SSKM hospital in Calcutta.”