At least 117 human skulls and skeletons dug out from a dried up pond in Aligarh is a grisly reminder as how Indian police treats the dead depriving them of the dignity they deserve.
Who were these dead persons? They must be someone’s brothers, sisters, fathers or mothers. Somewhere in some household someone must be clinging to a faint hope that their nears and dears, who have gone missing, would return not realising that their bodies have been discarded in such an inhuman manner in a pond, behind mortuary,.
The police claim these bodies to be that of unidentified persons who have died in road accidents or in other unnatural mishaps. The medical enquiry also suggests that these bodies were dumped after post-mortem.
This graveyard was a chance discovery. A few children were playing cricket when the ball rolled down into the partially dried up pond. A few children went in search of the ball and were aghast to see skulls strewn around. Scared children informed their parents who swarmed the area with shovels. Within few minutes 33 skulls and parts of bodies were dug out sending shock wave among the residents.
After mechanised digging that continued for almost three days 117 skulls and human skeletons were found. They were collected in gunny bag and taken to police station.
The Government rule is very clear that all the unidentified dead, after post-mortem, should be cremated with full honour. Police are given Rs 1500 for cremation of each dead body. The NGOs are roped in to give these dead an honourable cremation.
The real problem starts now. The Indian police who have acumen to make money out of thin air do not spare even the dead. They pay Rs 50 per body to a cycle rickshaw puller who takes it to near by river and pond and throws them there. The police man pockets the rest of the money.
I have seen how a rickshaw puller had nonchalantly given dead bodies a water burial. The rickshaw puller carried four dead bodies, draped in white sheet and stacked one over the other, to Gomti river that divides the Lucknow city into two. On reaching a secluded place he discards his clothes, pulls the dead bodies from his rickshaw and takes them to the midstream and throws them there.
Why midstream? “The flow of the water is strongest there and it helps in washing away the body out of Lucknow district’s boundary,” the rickshaw puller said.