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Children forced to carry corpses, panel orders probe

By Ians English

Bhubaneswar, Aug 28: A rights panel has ordered Odisha to conduct a probe into allegations that two homeless children carried corpses from railway tracks and dissected them for doctors, an official said on Thursday.

The Odisha Human Rights Commission has also directed the secretary of the state health department and the Sri Ram Chandra Bhanja (SCB) Medical College hospital at Cuttack to submit a report in four weeks, an official told IANS.

Taking sue motto cognizance of media reports, the commission bench comprising acting chairperson Justice B.K. Mishra and member B.K. Patnaik fixed the next date of hearing in the case Oct 14.

The incident came to light after volunteers of government-run Childline rescued the boys, one 17-year-old and the second 15-year-old, from the railway station in Cuttack town, 26 km from here.

The boys said the Government Railway Police (GRP) officials asked them to lift corpses from railway tracks.

They said they carried the bodies to the postmortem chamber of a nearby hospital and cut and expose the organs for examination by doctors, Child Welfare Committee Chairman Bikash Mohapatra said.

The elder boy said he carried as many as 100 bodies during his three-year stay at the railway station and the other boy helped him.

If the children refused to do the job, they alleged the railway police personnel would beat them up.

They said police paid them about Rs.300-Rs.500 for disposal of each body.

Mohapatra said the boys are now in the care of a district administration-managed shelter home.

He also said that this was not an isolated case and there were reports of police exploiting destitute children at other railway stations too.


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