Dead HIV undertrial''s kin meet top Goa official to claim body

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Panaji, Jan 21 (PTI) Family members of a HIV infectedunder-trial, who died in judicial custody here, had toapproach high authorities in Goa to ensure the release of hisbody.

The state administration had to hand over the body ofJohn D''Souza, accused of sexually abusing minor boys, afterthe family met state chief secretary Sanjay Srivastava, whoissued orders to this effect last night.

John''s family members claimed that his body was not beinghanded over to them as post-mortem was to be conducted on itsince John, who died on January 15 while being treated at GoaMedical college and hospital, was a HIV patient.

Prison authorities refused to hand over John''s body tothe relatives despite repetitive pleadings, they alleged.

The kin, along with NGO - Positive People, approached thestate chief secretary and briefed him about the allegedharassment.

They claimed that they had been asked to hop from oneoffice to another under the pretext of formalities andclearances and were being harassed as John was an AIDSpatient.

Positive People, working for the people living with HIV,termed the attitude of state administration as ''shocking''.

"It is indeed shocking that the district authorities havenot been able to release the body and have caused unnecessarypain and harassment to the grieving family who just want togive a decent and dignified funeral to their dear one," theNGO''s letter to the chief secretary said.

D''Souza was kept in Sada sub-jail since his arrest inNovember 2009 for allegedly sexually abusing a 14-year-old boyin his car.

The family members were asked to swear in an affidavitthat they have no suspicion on John''s death before beinghanded over the body.

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