India probes discovery of human bones, body parts found in police building

A human skull being held up by a forensic anthropologist. The gruesome discovery of dozens of bones and decayed body parts found in a police building in northern India has sparked a probe by authorities. -- PHOTO: AFP
A human skull being held up by a forensic anthropologist. The gruesome discovery of dozens of bones and decayed body parts found in a police building in northern India has sparked a probe by authorities. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - A forensic team has submitted a report on the gruesome discovery of dozens of bones and decayed body parts found in a police building in northern India, police said on Sunday.

Police in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state said the human remains, discovered on Friday, had apparently been left there after autopsies and had been stored in a post-mortem room that was locked since 2008.

"Sacks of bones and jars of (decaying) organs were found on Friday. The room had not been used in over six years but some workers spotted them through an open window," senior police official G.N. Soni told AFP by phone from Unnao district. "The expert committee has already submitted its report to the district magistrate," Mr Soni added.

Mr Soni said he did not know where the bodies came from or why they were never cremated, but the police have reportedly admitted a lapse in normal procedures for the disposal of bodies after post-mortems.

The authorities will now conduct DNA tests and investigate why "100 bones and skulls" - some which date back to the early 1980s - "were left to rot in the room", another district police official, who did not wished to be named, told AFP.

Dozens of other skeletons and decayed body parts have similarly been discovered in other parts of Uttar Pradesh, The Times of India and Mail Today newspapers reported on Sunday.

The latest incidents come just weeks after some 100 bodies were found floating in India's River Ganges near a cremation area in Unnao.

The police say the bodies were probably given river burials by families too poor to afford enough wood and other materials for a proper cremation.

Millions of India's Hindus practice open-air cremation, with the ashes of loves ones scattered in the revered Ganges.

While Hindus cremate their loved ones, the country's Muslim and Christian minorities usually choose burial as they believe there will be a physical resurrection on the Day of Judgement.