The West Bengal government will seek court permission to cremate the bodies of 48 victims of the May 28 Jnaneswari Express disaster, when 13 of the train's coaches derailed and an oncoming goods train rammed into it between the Khemasuli and Sardiha stations in Paschim Medinipur district.

‘48 bodies still lying unidentified’

Chief Secretary Ardhendu Sen told journalists at the Secretariat that 48 bodies were still lying unidentified at the mortuaries.

He said the State government will seek the court's nod for cremating them, and, if possible, to inform the relatives.

Official reports put the death toll at 150 in the incident, which is now being investigated by the CBI since it happened on Railway property. Body parts are reportedly still lying strewn at the site.

Earlier this week, Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh said DNA tests could not be done on the unidentified bodies because genetic matching could only be done with siblings or parents.

“The persons coming forward to claim the bodies have to be from either of these two categories,” Mr. Singh said.

There have been indications that there may have been many unauthorised persons travelling in the Jnaneswari Express, a fact that has complicated the process of identification.