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Day on, bodies of only 7 victims claimed at Panchkula hospital

Doctors and police found it difficult to identify many bodies as they do not have identity cards.

punjab Updated: Aug 27, 2017 09:00 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Ram Rahim,Ram Rahim rape verdict,Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Panchkula India Aug.26 2017 police personnel guarding dead bodies in General hospital in sector 6, Panchkula Aug.25 2017 Photo by Sant Arora Hindustan Times

The death toll in Friday’s violence Panchkula — in the aftermath of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s conviction in a rape case — climbed by four to 32 on Saturday, but only seven bodies were so far claimed by relatives from the local civil hospital in Sector 6 by 10pm.

The toll went up as three deaths at a private hospital were accounted for, and one victim succumbed at the PGIMER in Chandigarh.

In all, at least 12 of the dead had been identified — seven from Punjab (seven claimed), the rest from Haryana — and post-mortem of 20 had bene conducted in all at this hospital. The cause of death in all these cases was found to be bullet injuries, said Dr Veena Singh, principal medical officer. The hospital has constituted a special team of doctors to conduct the post-mortem.

A child, around five years old, is the youngest among the dead, and the list of 32 includes at least four women, as per data shared by the hospital authorities.

“It is disheartening to see so many people losing their lives and people not coming forward to claim some of the bodies,” said Dr Singh.

Doctors and police found it difficult to identify many bodies as they do not have identity cards.

The hospital has space to keep only six bodies at a time, so a temporary arrangement is made as bodies are being kept on ice slabs. The doctors have not decided what they will do if nobody comes to claim bodies.

Another doctor, who wished not to be named, said, “One of the patients told me that he had already informed his neighbours that ‘eight family members are going to Panchkula but we don’t know how many will return’. This means they had come prepared for anything.”

The seven Punjab natives identified according to the hospital were Hari Singh, 45, from Bangi Nehal Singh village in Talwandi Sabo (Bathinda); Lovepreet Singh, 25, of Their village in Muktsar district; Bughi from Farkarsar Kehri village in Muktsar; Gurpal Singh, 32, of Patran in Patiala; Aman of Arniwala in Fazilka; Jagroop Singh of Badbar in Barnala; and Uggar Sain of Sangrur.

First Published: Aug 27, 2017 09:00 IST