Madhya Pradesh witnessed yet another horror show of healthcare, where dogs have eaten up the body of a woman aged 70 who went missing from a government hospital in Rajgarh on March 22. This is the fifth such incident recorded in the state in less than 10 months, and the second this year.
The reek drove some sanitation workers towards the gruesome remains of her body when they went looking for its source.
"Only her head and some upper body parts are left. The rest has been eaten up by animals", said Kotwali police station in-charge Mukesh Gaur on Sunday.
It is still not clear if she was alive when attacked by the animals. There were signs of the body being dragged five to seven feet through the undergrowth.
What adds to the dreadful event is that hospital authorities were apparently not aware about the absence Bishmillah Bai until they found what was left of her in the backyard of the campus on Sunday.
An official described it as the most horrifying scene he had ever seen. "It was just a head and half the torso. Even that had been chewed up. It was gruesome. There wasn't much left for a post-mortem", he said, adding that she was identified from her purse and scraps of her sari and sweater.
According to the sources Bishmillah's grandson Md Nameem, 25, said she lived in Guna district's Kumbhraj village. "She came with us to Rajgarh on Urs and refused to go back, saying she wanted to stay here for a couple of days. When she didn't return home, we came back to look for her. We were searching for her even today when we got the call from police", he said.
Whatever was left of her bundled up in a small potli and handed to the family for last rites.The administration has ordered an investigation into the incident by the subdivisional magistrate.
Police say Bismillah was found lying on a road, unwell, on March 20. "She was immediately taken to the district hospital with the help of 108 Ambulance service. Hospital officials say that she was missing from March 22, but we were not informed. Today, her body parts were found on the hospital premises", Gaur said.
Bismillah was given bed No. 11 in the women's ward. She may have strolled out at night and been attacked by hungry dogs, say sources.
Police pointed out the professional incompetence of the hospital officials as they failed to trace the absence of a patient.
"How did she end up in the backyard of the ward where she was admitted? Why wasn't any information given to police after she went missing? And what did the authorities do to trace her? These are some of the aspects we are investigating", said Gaur.
According to the sources S Jadu, civil surgeon of the hospital, explained that when a patient goes missing it is noted in the register and reported to the resident medical officer but not police.
"She was admitted on March 20 and went missing on March 22. Today her remains were found", Jadu said. However, sources said that when a patient is admitted by police, it is crucial for the hospital to inform the cops if he/she goes missing.