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Mastung tragedy: Bodies handed over to families

January 18, 2013

RAWALPINDI, Jan 17: Bodies of the two remaining victims of Mastung tragedy, on Friday (today), will be handed over to relatives, as Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) reports have been received by Holy Family Hospital (HFH).

In a terrorist attack, 20 Shia Muslims lost their lives, while travelling on an Iran-bound bus on December 30, 2012, in Mastung, Balochistan. Total 19 dead bodies were shifted to Rawalpindi, 17 had been already handed over to relatives and only two remained because of a delay in DNA testing.

After completing DNA tests, the HFH handed over 13 dead bodies to their relatives and District Headquarters (DHQ) hospital handed over three dead bodies on Wednesday. One dead body from Taxila was handed over to relatives on Thursday morning.

DNA tests of the two remaining victims — Mohammad Ramzan from Sargodha and Hasina Achar Jogi from Khairpur — were delayed as their samples were not matched with their relatives.

Therefore, Khan Research Laboratory (KRL) took fresh samples of relatives, on Wednesday, and were later able to match it with the victims.

However, hospital staff and relatives complained of government’s indifference towards the tragedy.

“The hospital administration requested the City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) to provide security on the occasion of handing over the dead bodies to avoid any untoward situation but the CDGR failed to provide security,” said a senior hospital official while talking to Dawn.

The hospital official said that the District Coordination Officer (DCO) did not show up at the hospital and instead sent District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Khalid Randhawa.

He said that the hospital managed to get the help of Rescue 1122 to shift the dead bodies from Rawalpindi to Taxila and Hasanabdal as well as to Islamabad Airport to transport three dead bodies to Sindh.

“All the arrangements of the air transportation of the dead bodies were made by the relatives and CDGR did not help them,” said Arif Ali, a relative of the victim, while talking to Dawn.

Relatives complained that the government failed to provide security and transport for the victims.

“The government failed to provide security to the pilgrims and it also failed to provide assistance in the transportation of the bodies,” said Mazhar Ali, a relative of another victim.

District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar was not available to comments over the issue.