A grieving father's endless search for the body of his murdered son has put the Rajasthan police force in a shame and grave situation.
Jeweller Rajkumar Soni's mission uncovered a macabre racket whereby the long arm of the law allegedly sold unidentified dead bodies to several medical colleges for student experiments.
The body of his 19-year-old son Rahul who was murdered last May, was one of those sold to a medical college. The family had sent the body to a nearby hospital for treatment but failed to recover it.
Soni stumbled on the racket after filing an application to investigate unclaimed bodies under the Right To Information (RTI) Act 2005, a law allowing citizens to seek information from public authorities.
His investigations revealed that 23 unidentified bodies were sold to medical colleges over the last five years, with the help of senior police officers in Sriganganagar District near Jaipur, in the state of Rajasthan.
Now, 13 police inspectors and sub-inspectors are facing prosecution while the authorities are investigating the sale of at least 50 unidentified bodies to several colleges at RM40,000 a corpse. "I was shocked to discover that three police stations in the district gave away 23 bodies illegally to medical colleges during the last five years. "Police officials brazenly violated the legal provisions, not only pertaining to my son's body but also in all the previous 23 instances,"
The Hindu newspaper quoted Soni as saying. He claimed that Rahul's body was given away to a private medical college, just 10 minutes after a post-mortem, but local policemen claimed the body was cremated. On further questioning the police, Soni was told that the body was sent to a medical college "for its preservation", noted The Hindu. Eventually, Soni had to pay a large sum of money to a medical college to reclaim his son's body.