Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Aug 23:
In a shocking incident that came to light on Friday night, two minor boys were being used by the Railway officials and the police in the millenium city of Cuttack in Odisha, to lift, pack and carry corpses of people killed along the railway tracks as well as bodies lying in the morgue .
Both the minors were rescued by the Child Welfare Committee from the Cuttack railway station on Friday.
Narrating their ordeal before a three-member committee, these two minor boys said they had been staying at the city railway station since last three years.
They said the railway police and officials had been using them to collect bodies of people killed along the railway tracks without providing them with gloves. After collecting the mangled bodies with bare hands, they were also asked to load them into sacks.
“Besides, we were used to pick up the decaying corpses from the morgue at the railway station and take them to the SCB Medical College and Hospital for post mortem. In cases where the bodies were not identified, we had to cremate them at the crematorium in the city”, the two teenagers informed the committee members.
They also said that apart from their work in the Cuttack railway station, the railway police and officials also used to ask them to pick up corpses from the tracks at Jajpur and Paradip railway stations.
“We were forced to do this by these officials who warned us that we would not be allowed to stay in the railway station premises if we do not carry out their order. They also threatened us that we would be trapped in theft cases and at times beat us up with plastic pipes”, they added.
While one of the boys hails from Goa, the other boy belongs to the Gandhipalli slum of Cuttack.The boy from Goa came to Cuttack after the death of his parents.
When asked about the money they get for this work, the two minor boys said though these officials promise them to pay Rs 1000, they actually pay Rs 400 which is shared by them and others who are also engaged in the work.
Briefing the media, chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee Bikash Mohapatra, and members Pradip Patnaik and Dolly Dash said that the committee has rehabilitated the minor boy of Goa in a child shelter, steps have been taken to send the other boy to his family.
They also said the committee had earlier rescued 20 minors from the railway station and that all of them had complained of brutalities by the railway police and officials.