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Unclaimed bodies on the rise, 1,450 in 14 years

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Oct 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Police say most of them are those of homeless beggars and hermits

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Oct 2: The number of bodies going unclaimed in the State is piling up.

While 276 bodies remained unclaimed in the year 2013, the figure went up to 499 in 2014.

According to official records, the total number of bodies that went unclaimed from 2001 to 2014 is 1,450.

But police have ruled out foul play, citing the growing aggression of the media.

"Most of the bodies which go unclaimed are those of homeless beggars. A good chunk of them are those of hermits - who have come here from other states - whose bodies are found by police in public places like railway stations, bus stands etc," said a police officer. As per law, the police have to preserve an unclaimed body for 72 hours. Later, after getting the requisite permission from a magistrate, the bodies are buried. "They are buried to keep a provision of exhuming it if a need arises later - like for claims or other investigation purposes," said an officer.

The number of bodies that went unclaimed was higher between 2001 and 206, compared to the later years.

Police admits that some of the deaths were "insurgency-related." "But then, the media - especially the electronic - was not so aggressive. The dissemition of information was not as fast and wide as it is now. Therefore, the people remained uninformed in the event of such recoveries," he said. Some critics, however, blame idequate forensic test facilities in the State for poor identification rate of bodies.

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