'What are these hospitals for?'

Said family members of some of the deceased, who had to arrange for cloth and plastic sheets to cover the bodies on their own

What could be worse for a family, which just saw the dead body of a family member, to run around to get a sheet to cover the body?

Last rites: Funeral pyre of Inderjeet Singh, who lost his life in the
Delhi High Court blast

This was the situation at Lady Hardinge Hospital, where the dead bodies were bought from Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital to get the post-mortem done.

Relative of a deceased with a sheet purchased to cover the body.
Pics/Imtiyaz Khan and Subhash Barolia

Mehtab Singh Dabas was among the 13 people who lost their lives in the blast at Delhi High Court on Wednesday. His relatives alleged that the hospital did not even have the basic amenities and the staff there asked for money to provide sheets with which to wrap the bodies.

"They don't even have the sheets to cover the body. How can a hospital run like that? We had to buy a sheet from outside. This is really disgusting," said Sumer Singh, a family friend. Friends of another deceased, Pramod Kumar Chaurasiya, 40, who died in the morning, also alleged they were facing similar problems. "They had no sheets to cover the body of our friend. The government is not at all helpful. We are suffering so much here, and these things are adding to our problems," said Subodh Jha, Chaurasiya's friend.

Maninderjeet Singh Bitta, chairman, All India Anti- terrorist Front (AIATF), was also present at Lady Hardinge Medical College where the bodies were brought from RML hospital. While helping the patients and their families, he said "We have been providing them with sheets to cover the bodies. We are also providing petrol to the ambulances. The government should have made arrangements for the family members of the deceased, who are sitting outside the mortuary. The government was not able to save the lives of their family members. They should have at least spared them this trauma."

The other side
"We had all the things that were needed at the time of post- mortem. We were fully prepared. Also, our team was not directly interacting with any of the family members of the deceased. We were asked to hand over the bodies to the police. Similarly, the bodies were handed over to us by police officials only. So, if there was any miscommunication between the police and the family members, then it's not our responsibility. Secondly, the bodies should have been covered at RML Hospital and then sent to us," said Dr Atul Murari, director, Lady Hardinge Medical College.

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