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New Delhi, February 29, 2020
It has been a week since riots shook northeast Delhi, but the families of those who lost their lives continue to wait outside Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital's mortuary to collect the bodies of their relatives.
Salim Kassar (50), who has been sitting here since Monday, finally lost patience on Saturday, when a police personnel asked him to come the next day for collecting the corpse of his brother.
"First, I lost my brother who was burnt alive in the riots and now you want me to keep running to the morgue? I don't have money to come here again and again. I have lost everything in the riots," said Salim to the policeman.
A woman, Nijma, whose son Monis went missing during the riots, visited at least four hospitals in her search for him and unfortunately found his body in GTB hospital's mortuary on Friday. She fainted due to grief and tiredness here on Saturday.
Nijma told IANS: "I have made at least 7 to 8 rounds of the hospital but my son's body has not been handed over. I have spent at least five thousand rupees on transportation during my search for him. Finally I found him here at the mortuary (of GTB) but they are yet to give me the body. I want to go back to my native place as soon as possible, for his last rites."
The relatives of the deceased alleged that the delay was due to the investigating officers of the riot affected areas who were not doing the required paperwork for the post-mortem examination.
Meanwhile, GTB officials told IANS that 25 post-mortem examinations had been performed since Monday. Only 13 bodies are left for post-mortem examination.
"25 postmortems have been done so far, 13 bodies are pending, six bodies are yet to be identified," said the hospital authorities. "We will try to do as many postmortems as possible by today unless bound by legal limitations. What will we achieve by keeping the bodies here?"