With the spotlight on Dera Sacha Sauda, following the arrest of its chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim, yet another revelation has emerged.
A Union health ministry note has mentioned as many as 14 bodies being sent from the Dera headquarters in Sirsa to GCRG Institute of Medical Sciences, a private medical college here, “without requisite permission and death certificates”.
The note—a copy of which is with TOI—was written on August 19 and sent to the UP government.
It says a hearing committee has mentioned that the “explanation offered by the college in obtaining 14 cadavers from Dera Sacha Sauda without requisite permission and death certificates is a serious issue”.
The committee was set up following an Allahabad HC order on a dispute over providing recognition to GCRG.
Onkar Yadav, a member of the GCRG management, told TOI that a team of Medical Council of India (MCI) had inspected the college on August 16 and had found the 14 cadavers in the anatomy department.
During MCI’s last inspection on January 6, there was only one cadaver in the institute, which led to an adverse report by the council as rules mandated there should have been at least 15, said Yadav.
It is this finding that finds mention in the committee’s report, which was quoted in the note to the UP government. The ministry has now debarred the college from admitting students for two years.
The report, however, does not mention the cause that may have led to the death of these 14.
“Bodies were donated to us by followers of Baba Ram Rahim, who had been urging them to indulge in this noble activity. Dera followers have been donating bodies of their kin to many colleges. We have affidavits of all the 14 families who agreed to donate the bodies for research. We have asked Lucknow police to verify these documents,” he said.
“We will consult the medical education department of the state and find out the procedure that private medical institutes need to follow to obtain identified and unidentified bodies. Legal action will college authorities or Dera has not followed rules,” said Lucknow SSP Deepak Kumar.