The police department has not allotted any funds to the city police for publishing pictorial advertisements of unidentified bodies in newspapers, but the city police claimed they somehow manage to issue advertisements of unclaimed bodies.
A total of 66 unclaimed bodies were recovered by the city police during the past 15 months from various localities of its jurisdiction, out of which 65 still remained unidentified in police records. Only one body was identified.
In reply to an application filed under the Right to Information Act 2005, the city police said in four such incidents, the police had not released any pictorial advertisements.
According to the procedure, whenever the police recover any unidentified body from anywhere, it would shift the body to a government hospital and keep it in the mortuary for 72 hours, so that someone can come to claim the body after reading news in the papers or other media.
Then, cops collect the body’s pictures and belongings with themselves before handing over the body for cremation to the civic body after postmortem
After that cops should give an advertisement in newspapers with the body’s picture along with some details of the body and belongings. A separate record is being maintained by the cops with similar details.
The advertisement is the mandatory procedure to follow but, as it is a costly affair, cops manage it by keeping cuttings of newspapers in its record. Each advertisement costs around Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000.
Seeking anonymity, a station house officer (SHO) said that it is really shameful for the department for not releasing funds for such advertisements and they were managing by arranging the money themselves.
He said, “We have good links with some media-men due to which they oblige by giving advertisement free of cost.”
Another SHO told that it is very rare when someone comes to claim the body after reading news reports in newspapers. Usually, we hand over the body to the municipal corporation after completing formalities of postmortem and others.”