Erumeli: The body of an unidentified man was left by the wayside along the Azhutha River for five hours on Wednesday as the police and health officers blame each other for the shocking neglect.
The body was spotted by a group of men who had gone to cut bamboo on the river bank around 10 am. The police were promptly called in and they fished out the body around 11 am.
However, the cops left after leaving the corpse by the wayside, where it remained until 4 pm. After their apathetic treatment towards the stranger’s body caused an outrage, the police justified themselves by saying that they had called for an ambulance, a claim rejected by the local medical officer. The police, it seems, had only called up the local fire station.
The incident has called into question the relevance of a 24/7 control room set up at Erumeli for the benefit of pilgrims to the Sabarimala shrine. The control room is supposed to coordinate among all government departments and agencies to solve any problems faced by the pilgrims in the busy season.
The personnel manning the control room did not bother to check if the deceased person was a pilgrim. They have not even recorded the incident in their daily register. They said they were not aware of such a death.
The health department operates five ambulances at Erumeli. Several other institutions and organizations have arranged for ambulances in the area. None of them could be accessed on Wednesday to take the body to a morgue, the police claimed.