Unnatural tales of 'natural' deaths

It was a concentration camp, no less

Unnatural tales of 'natural' deaths

 However, it turned out that the government was trying to eradicate beggars and not beggary.

In the first 18 days of August, 86 deaths were reported from Beggars’ Colony on Magadi Road. This is excluding the 12 deaths that occurred on Tuesday, followed by another eight on Wednesday. These figures alone bring to light the ghastly conditions under which the inmates lived.

How else does one explain the alarming statistics? From December last till today, the crematorium situated close to the Beggars’ Colony has received 286 bodies to be burnt. It is common for the crematorium to receive upto two bodies a day from the Colony and in the last 20 days, the number has increased to almost four to five a day.

Squalor and ill health at the Beggars’ Colony proves that there were no melting hearts at the inmates plight. That these deaths, all of them categorised as natural deaths or death due to old age in their death memo, invoked no alarm or even the mildest curiosity is an indication of sheer apathy of the Social Welfare Department.

Post mortem

Not even 12 deaths on a single day under mysterious circumstances could halt the Department in its tracks to conduct a post mortem. Even the Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari on Tuesday, summarily dismissed the post mortem of the bodies.

Apparently, twelve dead people in a single day was not enough to raise suspicion in the mind of our City Police Commissioner. The dead were bundled to the incinerator with a medical certificate pronouncing them dead owing to natural causes.

However, post mortem were ordered on the second day, when more beggars died due to ‘natural causes’.

If this was the situation the inmates were reduced to in the name of rehabilitation, the beggars might have lived longer eking a living on the streets. However, many believe that inaction and apathy towards beggars is because they belong to the lowest strata in our society and are oblivious to what happens to them.

“They are treated worse than dirt. This incident should prick the conscience of every Bangalorean,” said an NGO activist.

(With inputs from Muthi-Ur- Rahman Siddiqui)

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