An eight-member team of doctors, who returned after treating people in the flood-ravaged state of Uttarakhand, this week are in a state of shock.
Apart from the death and devastation that the team witnessed, what still sends shivers down their spine is the sight of having spotted two men roaming around the dead bodies, carrying a big pressure cooker each.
“We spotted these men when we were camping near Gaurikund. They appeared to be Nepalese, holding pressure cookers and surveying the dead. We got suspicious and caught them, only to find the pressure cookers full of chopped fingers and arms with gold and diamond ornaments intact,” said Dr Pradeep Bhardwaj, CEO, Six Sigma Healthcare, who led the team in providing medical care to the affected pilgrims.
“They had cut the fingers and arms because due to excessively swollen dead bodies, it was difficult to take out the ornaments. We also found R86,000 cash on both the men. We handed them over to the Army personnel,” Bhardwaj added.
During their 10-day stay, the doctors also found some pregnant women whose babies had died inside the womb.
“Due to extremely stressful conditions, these women had a miscarriage. We got two of them admitted into a local hospital as they were bleeding profusely. Both the women were in their 30s and were discharged after a couple of days once they were stable,” said Bhardwaj.
Apart from physical injuries, most of the affected people were suffering from depression and anxiety. “They feared what if no one rescued them. We met a 65-year-old woman who was the only survivor among a family of 10 that visited Kedarnath,” he said. “More than medicines, these people need psychological counseling,” he added.