What was earlier believed to be 14 skeletons wrapped in plastic bags have turned out to be medical waste, the Kolkata Police said on Sunday.
“No human tissue was found in the packets when they were opened by doctors. Some dry ice is there. An examination is on for exact nature of the material,” Nilanjan Biswas, DC (Behala), was quoted as saying by ANI.
ANI had earlier quoted him saying, “Condition of skeletons can be determined only after postmortem. We’re also checking the CCTV footage in the area. A complete search will be done tomorrow morning.”
In what came as a shocker to the residents of Kolkata’s Haridevpur locality, bags allegedly containing remains of newborns were recovered from an abandoned compound at Raja Rammohan Roy Sarani on Sunday afternoon.
Initially, police officials said they were verifying whether the bags contained bodies of newborns or foetuses. The police suspected an abortion racket.
Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, who had rushed to the spot along with Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, had reportedly said that the skeletons were soaked in some kind of chemical to prevent foul smell.
“A thorough search of the entire areas, including nearby waterbodies, will be conducted to see if there are more bodies,” said the Mayor.
“The police are keeping a strict vigil on the spot. The entire ground needs to be cleaned to ascertain the exact number of bodies that have been dumped here,” he had added.
Within an hour of his earlier comment, Biswas took a U-turn saying after examination at a hospital it was found that the bags contained medical waste and there was “no sign of any human foetus”.
Another official said that the plastic bags actually contained medical waste.
Earlier today, workers on a cleaning drive conducted by Kolkata Municipal Corporation had come across a plastic bag believed to have been containing remains of one of the newborns. A thorough search conducted by the police revealed more plastic bags.
According to reports, the “skeletons” were taken to the MR Bangur hospital for autopsy.
Haridevpur is less than 2 kms from upscale Tollygunge neighbourhood, which is home to the Bengali film industry.
(With inputs from agencies.)