The family of a 21-year-old man, Chintu Sah, were forced to carry his decomposed body in a plastic bag for almost 2 km on Monday after a hospital in Katihar allegedly refused to provide them an ambulance to take the body to Bhagalpur for postmortem.
Sah's body was carried around by three of his relatives and they were provided an ambulance only after the image of them doing so became viral. Sah had died 14 days ago from drowning in the Ganga. His body was recovered by the Kursela police station on Sunday and it was brought to Katihar hospital morgue for postmortem around 1 pm, the police said.
"Initially they said postmortem will be done here, but after keeping body for more than 24 hrs, doctors asked us to take it to Bhagalpur," a relative of Sah said.
The family was referred to the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Bhagalpur since the corpse was badly decomposed.
"The body was carried in a plastic sheet almost for two kilometres by Chintu's family members," Katihar DM Lalan Jee told TOI on Tuesday. "The hospital administration should have provided an ambulance," the DM said. He said that the hospital was negligent. An investigation committee comprising Deputy Development Commissioner (DDC) B D Singh and Sadar SDO and SDPO was set up.
"It is the responsibility of police to arrange vehicle for carrying bodies for postmortem," Katihar civil surgeon Shyam Chandra Jha said. He also said that the postmortem was not done on Sunday as the body came to the hospital at a late hour.