Dogs have eaten up the body of a 70-year-old woman who went missing from a government hospital in Rajgarh, Madhya Pradesh on 22nd March.
The badly mauled body of the woman was found in the premises of the government hospital on Sunday morning. The body was spotted by the sanitation workers when they went looking for the source of the stench that had been troubling patients and doctors for the past few days.
“Only her head and some upper body parts are left. The rest has been eaten up by animals,” said Kotwali police station in-charge Mukesh Gaur on Sunday.
The woman was identified as Bismillah Khan, who had been admitted to the female ward of the same hospital by police a week ago. Bismillah had left the hospital mysteriously a couple of days back and what added to the horror was that the hospital authorities were unaware that she was missing until they found what was left of her in the backyard of the hospital campus.
It is not known if she was alive when attacked by the animals. There were signs of the body being dragged five to seven feet through the undergrowth.
“It was just a head and half the torso. Even that had been chewed up. It was gruesome. There wasn’t much left for a post-mortem,” an official was quoted by TOI. It was also reported that the woman was identified from her purse and scraps of her sari and sweater.
“The body was spotted by the safai staff owing to the intolerable stench emanating from it. With the body being in extremely bad shape, its autopsy was conducted at the spot where it was found,” hospital civil surgeon Dr. S Yadu said.
Whatever was left of her bundled up in a small potli and handed to the family for last rites.
Her grandson Md Nameem, 25, said she lived in Guna district’s Kumbhraj village. “She came with us to Rajgarh on Urs and refused to go back, saying she wanted to stay here for a couple of days. When she didn’t return home, we came back to look for her. We were searching for her even today when we got the call from police,” he said.
The Rajgarh district administration has ordered a probe by the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) and sub-divisional officer of police (SDOP). Additional DM Rajgarh district Rajesh Jain said, “Primary probe has revealed that the woman Bismillah Khan had fallen ill at a religious fair in the district recently. She was brought to the hospital by police and admitted for treatment.”
Bismillah was given bed no.11 in the women’s ward. She may have wondered out at night and been attacked by hungry dogs.
Police say she was found lying on the road, unwell, on March 20. Gaur said, “She was immediately taken to the district hospital with the help of 108 Ambulance service. Hospital officials say that she was missing from March 22, but we were not informed.”
While remaining tight-lipped over the possible mauling of the elderly women’s body by stray animals on backside of the hospital premises, the civil surgeon said the portion of the hospital is cleaned once a week or fortnight.
“How did she end up in the backyard of the ward where she was admitted? Why wasn’t any information given to police after she went missing? And what did the authorities do to trace her? These are some of the aspects we are investigating,” said Gaur.
This is the fifth such incident in the state in less than 10 months, and the second this year.
In January this year, the mauled body of a newborn girl child was found in the garden of Indore’s MY Hospital, which is the largest government hospital in MP. In June 2016, stray dogs had reportedly walked away with the body of a stillborn from the burn unit of the same hospital. In December 2016, rats reportedly ate the eyes of a dead woman at the government-run Hamidia Hospital in state capital Bhopal.