Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: A day after the exposure of an alleged racket of sale of unclaimed bodies by police, the Rajasthan Government on Tuesday admitted in the Assembly that 15 corpses had been handed over to private medical colleges without legal procedure in Sriganganagar district and announced departmental action against 13 police officers.

Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal said during the Zero Hour that though there was no direct evidence of selling of these bodies, seven police personnel had been charge-sheeted in departmental action and six others, including five Assistant Sub-Inspectors, had been removed from active duty and sent to police lines after being served with show-cause notices.

Probe by ASPs

Mr. Dhariwal said the State Government had handed over the probe into the disposal of unidentified and unclaimed bodies in Sriganganagar district during the last 10 years to two Additional Superintendents of Police with the orders for submission of a detailed report within the next three days.

BJP MLA Om Birla raised the issue during the Zero Hour while pointing out that a Sriganganagar-based jeweller Rajkumar Soni, whose 19-year-old son Rahul was murdered in May last year, had obtained information through a Right to Information query that police were giving unclaimed bodies to private medical institutions for experiments without making any attempt to trace the relatives of the deceased.

Rahul's corpse was allegedly sold to Tantia Medical College after the post-mortem without Mr. Soni's knowledge.

After collecting the body on a hefty payment, Mr. Soni filed an RTI application with the police and got to know that just three police stations in the town had given away 23 bodies illegally to medical colleges during the last five years.

Mr. Soni has since lodged a first information report against Sriganganagar Superintendent of Police Umesh Chand Dutta as the main accused and seven others through a complaint filed in a local court while charging them under various sections of IPC, the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, and the Rajasthan Anatomical Act, 1986.

New officers

Mr. Dhariwal said all Government-run medical colleges had been asked to appoint designated officers in each district within their respective jurisdiction for proper disposal of claimed and unclaimed bodies.