At the OGH mortuary, relatives of victims of accidents and unnatural deaths have to pay through their nose for various services before they get hold of the body.

The dead stay dumb. But their kith and kin are squeezed dry here. The mortuary at Osmania General Hospital (OGH) has turned into a money-spinning racket. Greed takes over grief here. Relatives of victims of accidents and unnatural death have to pay through their nose for various services before they get hold of the body.

The shattered family members are in too much of a grief to resist or check what is right or wrong. They simply end up greasing the palms of the mortuary staff. Everything comes at a price here. For instance, to take the picture of a dead body, one has to pay Rs. 150.

“Police insist on keeping a record,” the mortuary staffers tell bereaving family members. Curiously, a photographer always keeps hovering over here to do the needful.

Next, to see a body one has to pay Rs. 20, and for claiming it after the post-mortem the price charged ranges between Rs. 500 and Rs. 800. This is for cleaning and shrouding the body.

“I am sure you wouldn’t be able to do it yourself” is the taunt thrown at the grieving relatives.

A poster asking people not to encourage corruption mocks at the administration. While the relatives wait in agony to collect the bodies of their dear ones, the staff is busy extorting money.

According to hospital sources, it is not something new, but the only difference is that ‘mamool’ prices have gone up drastically thanks to lethargy of the hospital administration. The money is shared not only by class IV employees but also by doctors, it is said.

Relatives of Sai Praveena, who recently died at Langer Houz, alleged that they had to cough up Rs. 800 for taking the body from the mortuary. The accompanying police personnel forced them to pay up to avoid delays.

In a similar instance, the family members of Chinna Evan who died at Kondapur, faced a peculiar situation. The relatives and friends of the labourer collected the money and paid it. “There was no option,” said Prakash, a family member.

Incidentally, fleecing continues till the body is handed over. Ambulance drivers too cash in on the misery and demand exorbitant fares to shift bodies.

“To take the body to Chaderghat the driver demanded Rs. 1,000, and so I hired a DCM for less amount,” said Ramesh, a relative of Laxmamma who died due to burning.

When asked to comment, OGH Forensic department officials preferred to maintain a deadly silence.

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