E-tagging, CCTV in morgue proposal to be expedited after poll code is lifted; Meeting scheduled shortly
PANJIM: Details of unclaimed bodies preserved in the Goa Medical College morgue will now be advertised before the authorities formally dispose off the body as the State government is working on streamlining the processes in handling unidentified bodies.
E-tagging of bodies and installation of close circuit television cameras (CCTV) in the GMC morgue – a proposal put forth after the infamous swapping of an unclaimed body with that of Aldona youth Januz Gonsalves for disposal – will be expedited after the lifting of the model code of conduct.
Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said the government has received bids from various companies, however, the work has been held up due to the ongoing code. “Once the code is lifted, we will fast track further procedures related to the tender and finalise the agency to take up electronic tagging of the bodies,” he told Herald.
In a major error at GMC last September, the 24-year-old footballer’s body was handed over as an unclaimed body to Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) for cremation. Januz had collapsed and died on the field while playing football after which the police insisted on an autopsy to ascertain the cause of death. His body was kept in the morgue as his siblings had to arrive to Goa for the final rites. While handing over four bodies to CCP for disposal, the forensic staff also gave Januz’s corpse. The error was exposed after the family found his body missing from the morgue.
The staff, including the then head of department, was suspended and the case handed over to Crime Branch.
With a meeting of theChief Secretary, Secretary (Health), North and
South Goa Collectors, Director General of Police and Inspector General of Police scheduled shortly, the government has decided to ensure unclaimed bodies are disposed within a specific period.
“In the upcoming meeting, we will discuss various issues related to unclaimed/unknown bodies such as the time these corpses can be kept in the morgue, to advertise before its disposal, etc. A coordination meeting of all these officers and bureaucrats will ensure streamlining of the procedures,” the minister explained.