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Two Mumbai bodies still unidentified

February 16, 2009

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MUMBAI, Feb 15: Nearly three months on from the Mumbai attacks, two of the 165 people who were killed still remain unidentified – nameless and forgotten victims of the 60-hour siege.

Despite being beamed live across the world for nearly three days and extensive media coverage in India since, no one knows who the men of South Asian appearance are or why their families have not been in touch.

“Nobody has claimed these people,” said A.K. Singh, from the communications team at Central Railways, based at the city’s main railway station where their bodies were found after the gunmen’s rampage there.

“We have put advertisements in various newspapers in Hindi, English and Marathi, not only in Mumbai but in other areas around the country. We have not received any response.”

What is known is that the pair had the misfortune to be at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus at about 9:20pm on Nov 26 last year when two men walked in calmly and began pumping bullets into the hordes of commuters.

The unknown men were found near the platforms for long-distance trains and confirmed dead by a doctor on arrival at hospital. They were not carrying any identification, Singh said.

While the grieving families of the 163 other people who died have long since come forward to collect their loved ones’ remains, the two men’s battered bodies still lie preserved in the chill of a Mumbai hospital mortuary.

Instead of being someone’s father, husband, son or brother, they have been reduced to numbers in the clinical accounting of the dead and injured.

On the Mumbai Police website’s “Unidentified Dead Bodies” section, the pair are listed simply as numbers 43 and 44.

One is said to be aged about 35 and six feet tall, with a distinctive tattoo of an “R” near his right thumb.

The other deceased, said to be 5ft 5 inches tall and aged about 55, appears more dark skinned with noticeable beard growth.

—AFP