Sister identifies brother's charred body with help of ring, hair

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Guwahati, Oct 31 (UNI) A strand of hair and a solitary ring - these were the marks with the help of which Deepamoni's 'body' was identified by her sister today amid the debris of tangled iron and mutilated body parts in front of the CJM's court, the site of the first of the nine synchronised blasts in Assam yesterday.

Terror knows no religion, but it has left its victims with no face in Assam as frantic relatives sought desperately to identify their dear ones' bodies in morgues with the help of a strand of hair, a ring or a piece of clothing.

Completely charred bodies filled the mortuary in the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), while several others lay at other hospitals in the city, as people whose relatives have been missing since yesterday waited with heavy hearts to take home bodies of their dear ones.

Many bodies still lay tangled among the burnt down cars, with no possibility of pulling out any recognisable body.

And if the agony of losing their loved ones was not enough, they had to look through gory sights of what used to be their fellow beings to identify the bodies.

Deepamoni Saikia's sister identified the ring and strand of hair, but there was no 'body' to claim as police pulled out chunks of burnt flesh clinging to a skeleton and handed over to the family members.

As the police and medical staff took around the relatives for identification in hospitals, the hushed silence in the morgue was broken time and again by agonising shrieks.

People shouted in fright as they saw the mutilated bodies of blast victims, with burnt skin hanging to the skeletons.

Police admitted that identification of all bodies would be tough as some have been charred beyond recognition.

''Not even a single piece of clothing or any other possible identification mark has been left,'' police said.

Eye-witnesses who had helped police in evacuation said many bodies were stuck to the car seats and had to be pulled out, with chinks of flesh sticking to the vehicles.

''We had seen a body with only the jaw recognisable. The person was burnt alive while he was driving and the body was stuck to the steering wheel, in a driver's position,'' an eye-witness at the Ganeshguri site said.

The blast spots, which are yet to be cleared and cleaned awaiting security expert clearance, bore signs of yesterday's carnage, with flesh chunks and blood dotting the areas.

Guwahati accounted for 41 deaths in three serial blasts in the city's Ganeshguri, Fancy Bazaar and Pan Bazaar areas yesterday.

The toll could increase further as several critically injured people were fighting for their lives.

The total toll has risen to 77, including 21 in the three Kokrajhar blasts and 15 in Barpeta Road twin blasts.

UNI SG DPM GT BST1845

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