Packets found at Kolkata ground contain medical waste, not human bodies: Police (Lead)

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Kolkata : In a queer turn of events, what were initially feared to be foetuses and bodies of newborns dumped in a deserted ground in Kolkata turned out to be packets full of medical wastes, a senior officer of Kolkata Police said on Sunday.

A group of labourers stumbled upon what looked like bodies of newborn babies wrapped in 14 separate plastic packets, while cleaning a plot of land in south Kolkata's Haridebpur on Sunday afternoon and informed the police.

Senior officers of Kolkata Police as well as the city mayor who rushed to spot also confirmed them to be dead bodies of newborns and sent them to M.R. Bangur Hospital here for autopsy.

The doctors at the hospital, however, said they did not find any human elements inside the packets.

"Initially, the packets seemed to be containing foetuses and bodies of newborns. But police did not open the packets. However, when the packets were opened at the hospital, the doctors found no human tissues," Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police Praveen Tripathi told IANS.

"The doctors said that the stuff inside might be medical or clinical wastes. Forensic test will be done to confirm the same," he added.

Earlier in the day, a senior city police officer confirmed that the packets possibly contained foetuses.

"Fourteen bodies and foetuses, wrapped separately in plastic, were recovered from a deserted plot of land on the Raja Rammohan Roy Sarani in Haridebpur area on Sunday. The packets were found scattered within an area of 20-25 feet at one side of ground that was fenced with tin shade, a senior officer from Kolkata Police had said in a press conference.

City mayor Sovan Chatterjee also confirmed the same and said chemical was applied on the body to stop them from emitting rotting smell.

"I was informed by the local councillor that the ground was filled with litters for many months and needed to be cleaned. The bodies were recovered today while the cleaning work was going on. The bodies were wrapped in plastic and chemical was applied to stop them from smelling," Chatterjee had said.

Police had also said they would initiate a suo-motu case in the matter and hinted that certain local hospitals might be involved in illegal activities.

"We are collecting the CCTV footage of the nearby apartments to look for any suspicious activities near the ground. We will also talk to the locals. It is possible that some hospitals that conduct illegal activities, are involved in dumping the bodies there," the officer had said.