Unearthing the Tragedy: 88 Unclaimed Bodies in Manipur Morgue

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In a solemn plea to the public, the Manipur government, guided by the Supreme Court of India, seeks assistance in identifying four nameless deceased individuals at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in Imphal. The Apex Court has further mandated the state government to conclude the burial of unclaimed bodies by December 12, 2023.

At JNIMS Mortuary in Imphal, the silent repository holds the body of a man and the charred remnants of three human lives, officials revealed on Wednesday.

Out of the 175 bodies, 171 have been identified. Relatives or next of kin claimed 83, leaving 88 unclaimed bodies and four anonymous ones in the mortuaries.

For the unidentified bodies, the court instructs the Manipur government to conduct burials or cremations, respecting religious rites. Additionally, the state government must gather DNA samples from all bodies, considering their involvement in various criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court Bench, led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, issued these directives based on a report from the committee chaired by Justice Gita Mittal.

This committee, established on August 7, 2023, delves into the humanitarian aspects, including compensation and rehabilitation, arising from the Manipur violence that erupted on May 3, 2023. The tragedy claimed the lives of approximately 200 individuals, displacing 61,000 people in its wake.

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