Police clueless about discovery of skeletons in Berhampore | india | Hindustan Times
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Police clueless about discovery of skeletons in Berhampore

india Updated: Feb 01, 2007 20:33 IST

A day after dozens of human skeletons were found buried under the ground beside a pond at Lal Bagh at Berhampore in Murshidabad district, police authorities are still clueless on where and how the bones came here. Police are also clueless on how old these skeletons might be and are waiting for the forensic experts to arrive from Kolkata.

And while some people have linked the skeletons to the devastating famine of the 40’s, while others feels these skeletons were dumped in the spot from the nearby graveyard that might have existed in the area before the sub-correctional home came up at Lal Bagh.

A team of CID officials and forensic experts reached Berhampore late on Thursday evening. 

It all started on Wednesday afternoon when PWD workers while digging a trench for construction of a boundary wall for a pond beside the sub-correctional home at Lal Bagh found a large number of skeletons under the ground. They found 28 human skulls and dozens of bones before the news spread and the digging work was stopped by the district administration.

Sub-correctional home’s controller BK Singh, said that the pond was eating out the land and had almost reached till the boundary wall. To save the boundary wall, they decided to put up walls surrounding the pond.

And during the digging for construction of this wall, human bones started to surface. The bones have been kept secured covered with white paper and put inside plastic bags.

Throughout Thursday, police kept the area, from where the skeletons were found, surrounded as onlookers and local people thronged the spot to have a view of the skeletons.

Dr Ramprasad Pal, a researcher on the history of Murshidabad, believes that the skeletons could be the remains of those killed during the famine that hit Murshidabad as well as the state in the 40’s and thousands had died at Lal Bagh area that time. The corpses could have been dumped at the place from where the bones are now being recovered.

But Noor Mohammad, a former Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) worker thinks that these bones be the remains from a graveyard that existed in the area before the sub-correctional home. During the construction of the sub-correctional home, these bones have cropped up and they were dumped in a spot from where it is now coming up.

But this version is challenged by the chairman of Berhampore Municipality, Mehdi Alam Mirja, who claimed that there are no documents with the municipal body to prove that there was any graveyard in the area.

Police, however, have kept their fingers crossed and are waiting for the forensic experts to arrive and conduct tests on the skeletons to determine their age and other details. Rahul Srivastav, SP Murshidabad, said that they would only be able to confirm about the skeletons after the forensic test results come.

"We are exploring three possibilities based on the age of the bones. If these bones are found to be more than 200 years old, then we will ask the archaeological survey of India to conduct more digging as well as investigate the case. If the bones are found to be more than 50 years old, they could be linked with the famine of the 40’s. But if the bones are less than 10 years old and if there is any clue of someone trying to destroy evidence by burying bodies, police will investigate the case. But everything will depend on the forensic test results," said Srivastav.

E-mail Rakeeb Hossain: rakeeb .hossain@hindustantimes.com 

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