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Families stay put as dead wait to be laid to rest

Families stay put as dead wait to be laid to rest

New Delhi: Wailing mothers, wives and brothers sat huddled in one corner of GTB Hospital's mortuary as they waited for the bodies of their family members who had died in the brutal violence that engulfed Delhi since Sunday evening.

The grieving families had to wait for the postmortem to be conducted before the bodies were handed over to them. Nafeeza (name changed) is trying to make her sister eat as she looks on with tears rolling down. "She is not in a condition to talk, can we please talk later?" she says.

Abeeda (name changed) just lost her husband in the riots. Along with them is their neighbour, who narrates the ordeal the family faced on Tuesday when a violent mob entered their house in Gokulpuri. "Abeeda's husband had hidden under the bed but the mob dragged him out and hit him with thick sticks on his head continuously," he said.

The rioters then dragged his body in the nearby gutter and threw it there. "The body was later taken out and we somehow managed to bring him here," he said. All the families were too numb to speak about their agony, waiting patiently for the bodies of their loved ones so that the last rites could be performed.

On the other hand, family members of people, who are missing since the violence broke out, also have been asking hospital authorities to check whether they were brought dead or are being treated.

The hospital authorities, meanwhile, are delaying the process even as some families have been waiting for the bodies for more than 48 hours. "We are not being told anything. They are saying they are finishing the postmortem but as more bodies are coming in, they are not giving us the bodies of our loved ones," said Sonia, who had come to support a family who had lost a member.

At least 38 people have died, out of which more than 30 were in Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital alone, according to hospital officials. Meanwhile, three people have died at Lok Nayak and one at Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital. On the other hand, more than 300 people have been reportedly injured and are admitted in different hospitals.

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