Kolkata, Aug 20, 2019 : Authorities at state-run RG Kar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata have ordered a probe after the eyes of a body kept in its morgue went missing, allegedly gouged out by rats, HT reported.
The eyes of 69-year-old Sambhunath Das were found missing after his body was released from the hospital morgue on Monday evening, said his son Sushanta Das died on August 18 at the hospital following a head injury he sustained after falling on a road. The body was then sent for post mortem.
In a letter to the hospital authorities, Sushanta said the employees of the morgue told him that the eyes of his father were nibbled by rats.
“When the body of my father was handed over to us, it was completely wrapped up in plastic sheets and a piece of cloth. When we removed the cover from the face, we found the eyes missing. The employees told us that rats were responsible,” said Sushanta.
Das and his family members and friends started agitating at the hospital premises on Monday.
The three-member probe panel to look into the incident of missing eyes was set up on Monday night.
“It’s a very serious issue. I have asked a probe committee to submit a report within 72 hours,” said Suddhadhan Batabyal, principal of the medical college and hospital.
“On preliminary investigation, we have been told that the body was kept in an iron tray inside an iron cupboard as is the norm. However, there are very big rodents inside the premises that even make their way through these structures,” added Batabyal, who said they would find a permanent solution to this menace.
Minister of state of health department, Chandrima Bhattacharya, did not take calls.
After the agitation by Sambhunath’s family, authorities fitted prosthetic eyes and handed over the body to the family.
“The employees of the morgue did not initially respond to our pleas, but when we began an agitation they were compelled to come out and take our complaint,” said Nitai Dutta, a neighbour and family friend.
Rats gnawing at bodies in morgues have been reported from hospitals across the country in the past. In 2008, the body of a 27-year-old was nibbled at by rodents at the morgue of state-run NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.