Times of India
21 January 2011
After a meeting with family members and NGOs working with HIV positive persons in the state, the health secretary on Thursday has issued directions for the release of the body of a HIV positive undertrial.
The undertrial, who was in the Sada sub–jail had died at Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC), Bambolim, on January 15, while undergoing treatment. The Goa Velha resident was brought to Sada jail in 2008. He was arrested under Sections 377 (unnatural sex) with a minor boy and 506 (2) (threatening), of the IPC and Section 8 of the Children’s Act.
The family members and NGOs handed over the letter from the health secretary to the North Goa collector who is also the inspector general of prisons. "He (collector) has promised to release the body by tomorrow morning. I hope to get the body of my brother and give him a dignified funeral," his sister said.
Earlier, family members and NGOs had met North Goa collector and demanded that the body of the HIV positive undertrial, which is lying in the morgue since January 15, be immediately released to the family.
The victim’s sister had alleged that they were unnecessarily being harassed and asked to go from one office to another to take the body. "The forensic team told us as well as the SDM, who was in the GMC morgue to conduct investigations, that since my brother had died of AIDS, they wouldn’t like to perform the postmortem as it would prove to risky for their lives too," alleged his sister.
The NGOs demanded that since the family members did not suspect any foul play, the body should be released so that they can perform the last rites of the body. "The family even gave an affidavit to the SDM stating that we have no objection to the body being released without a postmortem. However, instead of releasing the body, the SDM said that he has sent their affidavit to the National Human Rights Commission in New Delhi and the family would have to wait for NHRC’s reply," alleged activist Albertina Almeida .
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