HYDERABAD: The alleged discovery of body parts and hair of some victims of the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine attack in a garbage dump has sparked an outcry among Sehwan’s residents and social media users.
At least 88 people were killed when a suicide bomber struck the Sufi saint’s shrine on Thursday.
The authorities allegedly removed the body parts, which also included a few clumps of hair. “We sent our staff to the site but found nothing,” claimed municipal official Syed Asif Shah while talking to The Express Tribune. However, the official, believed to be under pressure, suspended two of his sanitary assistants.
Shah maintained that the footage might have shown burnt pigeons as hundreds of pigeons in the dome had also died in the attack.
The official also said that the shrine did not fall under the municipality’s jurisdiction but their staff alongside the Auqaf department, volunteers from the Edhi Foundation and other organisations moved body parts from the shrine to Sehwan taluka hospital.
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The Edhi Foundation’s regional in-charge Mairaj Ahmed said that the foundation did receive a letter on Saturday afternoon from the medical superintendent of the taluka hospital to ferry some body parts to Karachi.
These parts included limbs, hands, feet, chest and other organs, weighing around seven to eight kilogrammes, he added.
“These can be of 10 persons or 20 persons or more. We aren’t sure,” he said. The limbs will be kept in the foundation’s cold storage at Sohrab Goth for eight days, after which they will be buried.
The Auqaf officials could not be reached for their version on this development.
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‘My heart is saddened’
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah expressed outrage over the alleged discovery. “My heart is saddened,” Shah said while warning the district and municipal administration of Jamshoro that “they will be in trouble [if responsible].”
Directing Hyderabad Commissioner Qazi Shahid Pervez to run an inquiry into the incident, Shah said: “Whoever is responsible for the negligence will be brought to book.”
The Hyderabad commissioner could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, director general of health Dr Hassan Murad said that 86 of 88 bodies were handed over to their heirs whereas two unidentified bodies were shifted to Edhi’s morgue. The body parts from the shrine were sent to Edhi centre in Karachi following DNA sampling.
As many as 61 people injured in the explosion are still hospitalised.
Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Ahmed Shah suggested that human limbs might have flown out of the shrine and fell into the drain due to the intensity of the blast.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2017.