Chandigarh: The body of a 70-year-old man who had been participating in the farmer protest at the Kundli border point between Delhi and Haryana was found partly nibbled at by rats at a Sonipat hospital where it was kept for autopsy. The elderly person, Rajendra Saroha, had died on Wednesday at a village near the site of agitation. A post mortem examination to identify the cause of his death was scheduled for Thursday. A PTI report today said he had suffered a heart attack.
However, when the body was taken out of the freezer, his face and parts of his leg were found to have been eaten off by rodents.
“We noticed bleeding on the body. We found deep bruises on it, which, too, were bleeding. This led to a protest by representatives of the village and the khap,” said Pradeep Saroha, the only son of the late farmer.
The Congress today attacked the ruling BJP government of Haryana over the incident saying “such a painful situation may not have been witnessed over the past 73 years”.
The late farmer, who hails from Baiyanpur village in Sonipat, had been visiting the Kundli border point off and on to participate in the ongoing agitation against the central farm laws. Over the past few days, however, he had remained at the protest, staying near Rasoi village close by.
On Wednesday night, Mr Saroha took ill suddenly. Doctors at the Sonipat Civil Hospital, where he was taken immediately, declared him dead on arrival. This was the 19th death recorded at Kundli since the protests began some three months ago. It was decided to perform an autopsy to identify the cause of his death and his body was kept in the hospital mortuary’s freezer.
Following the ruckus that the condition of his body led to the next day, senior officials at the hospital arrived at the scene to pacify the relatives and friends of Mr Saroha.
“We have set up a three-member committee to probe the incident. We will act on its report. We will record the statements of all officials who were on duty at the time. Based on that we will fix responsibility,” said Jai Bhagwan, the Principal Medical Officer at the hospital.
It must be noted that the Civil Hospital in Sonipat has been under the spotlight often over matters of hygiene.