In SCBMCH, bodies make a vanishing act

Bodies of people who died under suspicious circumstances often go missing from the premier health institute 

Cuttack: Bodies going missing from Sriram Chandra Bhanja Medical College and Hospital (SCBMCH) has become a cause of concern.
The issue came to the fore recently after a few doctors lodged a complaint in this regard with hospital superintendent Shyama Kanungo. It is learnt that the doctors concerned have blamed police for the illegal shifting of bodies from the premier healthcare facility of the state.
It has been alleged that relatives of a 55-year-old man had taken away his body from the casualty ward without any postmortem Monday. As per the complaint, the man had attempted suicide by hanging himself over some issues.
Family members had rushed him to the casualty ward, where doctors later declared him dead. A doctor who attended the man had declared his death as a case of medico-legal complicacy (MLC) and informed the incident to a police outpost, located on the hospital premises. However, police did not take any step to seize the body and send it for a postmortem.
“Taking advantage of police callousness, the relatives of the man took away his body from the hospital without conducting the postmortem,” said a source in the casualty ward.
According to sources, casualty medical officer JP Biswal informed the incident to Mangalabagh police in-charge Arun Kumar Swain and SCBMCH superintendent Shyama Kanungo.
Sources claimed that Monday’s incident was not an isolated one. Earlier, there were incidents when bodies of a few persons who died under mysterious circumstances had gone missing from the casualty ward. Some social activists have also claimed that the hospital authorities used to allow a few private individuals to take out unclaimed bodies and those of destitute for cremation. But, there is no mechanism to keep tabs on the cremation of such bodies.
A few days ago, social activist Achyut Kumar Sahu had alleged the presence of a skeleton smuggling racket at the hospital. He had claimed that some people used to supply skeletons to a few private hospitals in and outside state by illegally collecting bodies from SCBMCH. Sahu had lodged a complaint in this regard with the hospital superintendent and city deputy commissioner of police (DCP).


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