Everything is sold in today's market - even dead bodies. Ironically, in Rajasthan's Ganganagar district, the corpse traders are the police.
Officials at three police stations in the district are in the dock for having sold over 20 unidentified corpses in the past five years - to private medical colleges. The case came to light after these shocking details were gathered by the family of one of the deceased, under the Right to Information Act. The Gehlot government has now ordered a probe.
Rahul Soni, 18, died last May. His family claim that that the Ganganagar Police treated his body as an unidentified though his name was tattooed on his hand, and that his his body was handed over to a private medical college within 10 minutes of the post-mortem - no effort was made to identify him.
"In its records, the police showed that they had cremated my son's body. We then asked them to show us the place where he was cremated so that we could perform his last rituals and gather his ashes. The police was then forced to admit that they had given his body to Tantiya Medical College," says Rahul's father Rajkumar Soni.
The episode rocked the Rajasthan Assembly on Monday. "This issue has been brought to our notice just now. We will investigate it fully and if anyone is guilty, we will take action," said Rajasthan Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal.
Under the Rajasthan Anatomical Act, unidentified corpses cannot be passed on to medical institutes without proper procedure. It is mandatory to wait at least 48 hours for claimants, to advertise in local papers, etc. But all these rules were violated by the police in Ganganagar.