A fortnight after Sandeep Gadoli was gunned down in an Andheri hotel, neither his body nor his family’s questions about his death have been laid to rest. His family refuses to claim his mortal remains until an FIR is registered against the Gurgaon cops who fired at him. This has now become a major cause for worry, as the dreaded gangster’s body has started to emit a foul smell.
Gadoli’s sisters Jyotsna and Sudesh have been posted outside JJ Hospital every day, but won’t claim his body until an FIR is filed against the cops who shot him. File pic
His elder sister Sudesh Kataria and cousin, Jyotsna Gulia remain posted outside the hospital every day, but refuse to collect the body.
“Only his body can help us get justice. Once we cremate him, our fight will go unheard. We won’t be able to expose the fake encounter and the Haryana police involved in the cold-blooded killing will go scot-free,” said Jyotsna.
Gadoli’s mortal remains have been kept at a temperature of 4 degrees centigrade, which can preserve bodies for weeks. The problem is, his body was not embalmed, and the presence of other unclaimed, decomposing bodies has exposed it to putrefaction as well.
A forensic doctor attached to the hospital confirmed the same. He explained that the process of decomposition starts with a foul smell, discolouration of the body, followed by marbling of blood vessels and bloating. In the advanced stages, an unbearable stench engulfs the corpse and the skin starts to peel.
“The concern is also because Gadoli’s body was not embalmed with formalin solution, which usually preserves the body from early decomposition. We cannot carry out embalming of a dead body unless we are specifically told to do so in writing by the investigating police team and the deceased’s relatives. Bodies which are already decomposed cannot be embalmed,” added the forensic surgeon.
However, this request was not made by the familyinitially, since they were confident their plea for justice would be heard. “We were initially allowed to look at the body, but after that the mortuary staff stopped us, stating that they could allow entry only after police permission. So, we continue to wait outside the morgue daily, and have no clue about the status of the body,” said Sudesh.
Her cousin Jyotsna added, “We had almost started the process of completing the formalities to claim the body when Bombay High Court ordered Mumbai Police to register an FIR against the Haryana police, but that very moment, we learnt that Haryana Police had moved the Supreme Court and managed to get a stay on the FIR. The matter is coming up before the HC on Monday, and we are hopeful the truth will prevail.”
Police Surgeon Dr S M Patil said, “A fresh body can be preserved for few weeks without embalming at 4 degrees centigrade temperature, but we must first ascertain whether the foul smell is actually coming from the said body or the adjacent bodies. In cases where unclaimed decomposed bodies are lying in the mortuary, chances of fresh bodies getting affected are more.”
A mortuary staffer told mid-day that Gadoli’s body had been kept along with a few other unclaimed bodies. “Gadoli’s body has been kept on a single stretcher in one of the cabinets and there are quite a few unclaimed bodies in the same compartment. There are three bodies belonging to beggars who died at JJ Hospital, along with an unidentified person’s slightly decomposed remains, seized by Uran police. There is another unclaimed body sent by the Khopoli police, as well as a few more unclaimed corpses,” said the source.
With their quest for an FIR getting delayed, Gadoli’s family had later asked for the embalming process, but were rejected. “A few days ago, we requested a doctor present at the mortuary to get the embalming done, but he said we needed to get a copy of the death certificate issued from the MIDC police, and only then can the procedure be done,” said his sister, Sudesh.
However, according to the police surgeon, the assistant police commissioner of the MIDC jurisdiction has magisterial powers and can order the immediate embalming of the body in order to prevent decomposition.
Mother still unaware of death
While Gadoli’s sisters are slowly digesting the news of his killing, their mother Murti Devi, who is over 80 years old, is still not aware of his death. All she knows is that he was shot by the Haryana police.
Every day, Sudesh gets calls from their aged mother asking about Gadoli’s condition. “I have to control my tears when she asks questions like ‘how is Sandeep now’, or ‘where was he shot, was it on the chest’. Have the doctors removed the bullet? Has he moved his fingers? Has he opened his eyes? When can I see him? I have no answers to these questions,” she said.