New Delhi, Sep 8: The relatives had come to collect the bodies of their loved ones, killed in the Delhi High Court blast, but were entangled in web of bureaucratic formalities at the Sucheta Kripalani hospital's mortuary on Thursday, leading them to give vent to emotional outbursts and some even hurling abuses at the officials.
The relatives accused the hospital authorities of hassling them and delaying handing over the bodies to them.
"First they told me to get a polythene wrapper for the body. Then after 15 minutes, they asked me to get a four metre cloth again to wrap the body. Couldn't they tell me to get those things at the same time?” said Sukhdev Singh, who had come to collect his friend Inder Singh's body.
Singh was called at 8 am but only handed over the body at 12:30 noon.
Shiruddin, who had arrived from Uttar Pradesh's Meerut city to collect his father, Nizamuddin's body, had a similar tale to tell.
“Can't they even give us a piece of cloth and plastic wrapper? As tax paying citizens, don't we even deserve that?” he asked.
According to relatives, the hospital was taking more than two hours to release a body.
“They had asked for an identity proof from me almost two hours back and I have no idea when will I get the body,” said Naresh Kumar, a friend of deceased Vir Pal Singh.
The visitors said the hospital staff could have been more sensitive to their feelings.
Aggrieved kith and kin of the victims at the hospital unleashed a wave of anger directed at the government, accusing it of being cold towards their plight.
Shouting slogans, the friends and families of those killed or injured in the incident, voiced their ire at the lack of facilities and organisation at the medical institutions, stressing that hospital authorities were treating them 'like animals'.
In a tone that betrayed a sense of anger and frustration, scores of anxious relatives alleged that there was a state of chaos at the hospitals, with the police and medical authorities not taking steps to address their concerns.
"The main problem that we are facing is that the people who have been injured or those who have been killed have been placed in rooms and wards like animals. Post-mortem on bodies is not being conducted. Neither the doctors nor the police are cooperating with us. Even the health minister is not helping us," said Vinod Kumar, a relative of one of the blast victims.
Meanwhile, in Hyderabad, a group of lawyers held a highly charged demonstration outside the metropolitan court to demand justice for the blast victims.
Holding posters and placards, hundreds of slogan-shouting lawyers condemned the blast and urged lawmakers to formulate tougher laws against extremism.
Lashing out at the Central Government for failing to curb militancy, the protesting lawyers demanded the immediate resignation of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram over the incident.
"We are protesting here to appeal to the government to immediately announce at least Rs20 lakh as ex-gratia compensation to the families of those killed in the New Delhi blast. The government must also provide employment to one member of every bereaved family," said Wahid Ahmed, a protesting advocate.
"We also demand the immediate resignation of Home Minister Chidambaram. The government has clearly failed to act on extremism," he added.