Delayed reimbursement: Ludhiana GRP officials dip into their pocket to dispose of dead bodies
According to the GRP officials, Ludhiana tops the charts in the state pertaining to the maximum number of dead bodies found on tracks, increasing the financial burden on the respective investigating officers
The Government Railway Police staff in Ludhiana continues to struggle to dispose of the dead bodies found on railway tracks due to the delayed reimbursement of the amount spent by the cops in autopsy and cremation of the abandoned bodies.
According to the GRP officials, Ludhiana tops the charts in the state pertaining to the maximum number of dead bodies found on tracks, increasing the financial burden on the respective investigating officers.
Notably, as per the existing scenario, whenever an abandoned body is found on the tracks, the investigating officer himself finances the bills for private vehicles hired to take the corpse to a local civil hospital, autopsy, clothes and cremation.
The staff gets ₹5,000 for disposing of each body after the bill is cleared from the head office in Ferozepur. To claim the reimbursement, the staff has to fill a form that is used to ascertain the real amount spent on disposing of the body.
“The process takes time and the bills are cleared almost after 40 days. The investigating officer initially spends money from his/her own pocket, which disturbs his family budget. Since the frequency of bodies in Ludhiana is high, an investigating officer will spend around ₹15,000 if he gets to dispose of three bodies in a month,” a GRP officer said.
Meanwhile, a police officer at GRP thana, sharing his experience, claimed that when he went to dispose of a body found on the tracks near Gill last month, he had to spend money from his pocket and was still awaiting the money to be reimbursed.
“The process should be streamlined as earlier when the staff used to get the money immediately, but now the process has become tedious. The officers hesitate to investigate or dispose of the bodies in such scenario,” a cop said.
Meanwhile, speaking to HT, additional director general of police (ADGP), GRP, MF Farooqui also criticised the delayed reimbursement process.
“I wasn’t aware of the matter since I have recently taken the charge of GRP. This is not acceptable and feasible that investigating officers are made to spend a hefty amount from their pockets for the government’s work. I will bring the matter to the notice of DGP, Punjab, and will soon find a way to streamline the process.”
The ADGP also claimed that efforts would be made to arrange ambulances for the GRP thanas in the state to transit the bodies to the hospital.