Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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robbing the dead

The people of Allahabad should hang their heads in shame because of the unpardonable and horrifying activities of a few of our citizens who did not hesitate to remove jewellery from the lifeless bodies of those killed in the stampede. In one case, 25-year old Suraj of Sonbhadra, who after good deal of running about, eventually managed to trace his parents in the mortuary, was horrified to note that the gold and silver ornaments worn by his mother before coming to the Mela were all gone.

The only son of the family, he now has four unmarried sisters to support. Suraj revealed that the heavy gold ornament she was wearing round her neck had only recently been purchased lovingly by her as she wanted to give them in dowry to one of the daughters. Alas! That was not to be. There were several others lying in the mortuary too. Most of the women among them must have worn heavy jewellery, especially those coming from rural areas where good deal of importance and significance is attached to the wearing of jewelleries by the married women.

This was one of the cases of chain snatching from the dead. One would like the whole matter to be thoroughly probed. Where was Suraj’s mother ‘robbed’ of her he jewels? When she lay dead on the platform ? Or when she was brought to the mortuary.

A shocking aspect of the tragic drama was the callous attitude of the hospital staff. A report says that when Suraj somehow managed to reach the obituary, he was curtly and rudely sent away and told that it was already 10pm and that he should come the next day. Could callousness be more callous? Those who gave that inhuman reply, didn’t realize that they were forcing the mourner to spend some 12 hours in suspense, in an alien place, whereas they couldn’t spare a few minutes ‘because it was 10pm?’ Shame on them. And what was the hospital management doing? Couldn’t it order duty of doctors and nurses in shifts ? Some staff could easily have been deputed on night duty. This was a shameful instance of unpardonable lack of foresight. Had a special night-shift been created for the emergency period, the dead would have been spared the humiliating experience of staying in a place that was even more lifeless, more insensitive than their lifeless bodies that lay there, as if staring at the ceiling, trying to pierce through the roof to ask the Almighty: ‘Is this the moksha that was promised to the bathers?'

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