Mumbai: While the doctors at KEM Hospital worked non-stop to help people post the Elphinstone station Stampede tragedy, authorities at the KEM hospital came in for severe criticism for marking numbers on the bodies of the Elphinstone station stampede victims and putting up their pictures on public display.
Certain Members of the Shiv Sena took the matter to extreme, when the attacked the Forensic Head of King Edward Memorial Hospital, Dr Harish Pathak. It is reported that Five Shiv Sena members on Saturday attacked the forensic head of King Edward Memorial Hospital, Dr Harish Pathak, and tried to scribble a number on his forehead.
The Reason ?- The Sena members said they were angered by the hospital’s decision to identify the victims of the stampede by marking a number on their foreheads adding that marking the victims like this was disrespectful to them.
ANI reports that Two of the accused have now been arrested after an FIR was registered on a complaint of Dr Harish Pathak under sections 353, 145, and 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Hospital faces backlash
Apart from the extreme action by a few, the hospital in general faced backlash from the public over social media. The hospital claimed the measure was taken to “avoid chaos”. The pictures of the victims, with numbers on their foreheads, were put up on a flex board at the hospital to expedite the process of identification, it said.
The move created outrage on social media with people lambasting the hospital for its insensitivity.
“Is KEM hospital affixing nos on bodies of deceased to identify & count the dead? So terrible! No respect! (sic)” tweeted a user.
“Stampede is depressing! What is more depressing is the attitude of authorities towards the dead bodies! (sic)” another Twitter post read.
The hospital said it would have been a “big mental trauma to make all the relatives see all 22 bodies” for identification.
“It would have become a chaotic and hectic exercise,” said Dr Harish Pathak, head of the forensic science department of the KEM hospital.He issued a statement late in the evening to defend the hospital’s decision.
“Hence, we took photographs of all the bodies, numbered them and displayed them to the relatives on a laptop screen” and a flex board thereafter, reads the statement.
The numbers were erased after the autopsies, it said.
He even went ahead and claimed it would be unjustified and unwise to criticise the scientific method adopted by the hospital for “speedy, honourable and smooth identification” of the victims.