937 unidentified bodies recovered in city this year

new delhi: Authorities here have found and recovered 937 unidentified dead bodies (UIDBs) in the Capital this year so far, of which as many as 545 were found between January and March and 392 were recovered from April to July, according to data accessed by Millennium Post.

"Yes, COVID has changed the scenario. We are taking proper measures to ensure safety and precaution while handling bodies," an official said.

In one of the districts, more than 350 bodies were recovered and in another district (since COVID-19 outbreak) over 50 bodies were found. One official said, "Once the body is brought to the mortuary, the hospital staff take samples for COVID-19 and after the report, the body is cremated. The cause of death is only revealed in the postmortem report," the official said.

According to a senior official, the reason behind the death of an unidentified body is clear only after their viscera report. "There can be different reasons behind the death-like natural death, accident, murder. Every possible step is taken to identify the deceased," the official said.

During their probe, police record identifiers like tattoos, birthmarks and tailor marks on the clothing of the body. The Delhi Police, in April, had directed that disposal of bodies shall be done as per natural death norms or COVID-19 norms depending on the opinion of the doctor examining the body.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Monika Bharadwaj told Millennium Post that the personnel involved in handling these bodies are given gloves, masks and PPE kit. "We try not to touch the body directly till equipped staff comes with the ambulance," she said.

In 2018, as many as 2,991 bodies were recovered and in 2017 about 2,615 bodies were found. Last year (till March), over 600 UIDBs were found. Last year, the in-charges (ICs) of District Missing Persons Unit (DMPU) were directed to ensure that complete information of the missing person or UIDB is updated on Zipnet and TTMC immediately along with a clear photograph.

After any UIDB is found, a message regarding the body is flashed to all SHOs, ACPs, DCPs and senior officers of other states. Hue and Cry notices with photographs of the deceased are pasted and cross-referenced with missing complaints of different police stations.

Meanwhile, Railway Protection Force (RPF) data from Delhi division showed that last year, 1,872 bodies were found lying on tracks whereas this year till June, about 541 people died after they were hit by trains in Delhi-NCR. "We have increased patrolling on tracks to avert any untoward incident," an RPF official said.

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