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Mass burial of train blast victims on Feb 24

By Sagar Kulkarni in Panipat
February 23, 2007 15:55 IST
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The unidentified bodies of those killed in the deadly Samjhauta Express blasts will be buried in Panipat on Saturday as authorities said they cannot preserve the corpses any longer.

The local administration on Friday got clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs for mass burial of the bodies and it will take place in Mehrana village, about five km from Panipat, on Saturday afternoon.

So far, 38 of the 68 people killed in the blasts have been identified. Another batch of relatives of the Pakistani victims is expected to reach Panipat on Friday evening or Saturday morning and authorities have decided to give them time till Saturday noon to identify the bodies.

"The Ministry of External Affairs has asked us to wait till 12 pm on Saturday and the burial will take place after that," Amit Aggarwal, Assistant Deputy Commissioner of this Haryana town, told PTI.

Unable to preserve the bodies beyond two more days, the district administration had yesterday written to the MEA and the Haryana Chief Secretary, seeking alternative arrangements for keeping the corpses or permission to bury them.

"DNA sampling of all the bodies has already been done. Later, if any relative wants to take body the back, it can be exhumed," Aggarwal added.

Army officials said embalming of the bodies could not be done properly as they were badly charred. Thirty bodies are kept at the civil hospital morgue in Panipat and out of which, five are suspected to be the kin of Pakistani national Rana Shaukat Ali.

Meanwhile, the bodies of six blast victims, including five Pakistani nationals were being buried in Mehrana village. They were identified as Mamoona, her daughter Anam and son Burkham, Yunus Naseem and his wife Mariam Begum, all from Karachi, and Anwar, who hailed from Gujarat.

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Sagar Kulkarni in Panipat
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