Mumbai, Chennai & Kolkata: Political parties opposing BJP by tooth and nail have deployed their cadres outside mortuaries across the nation. We spoke to few such cadres to get the story behind their sudden placement.
Ramesh Solanki, working for Congress was seen outside a mortuary in the city here. When we asked the reason, he said, “Today morning, when I woke up at night, I got a call from my High command asking me to rush to a nearby mortuary. So, I am here. On the way, I was instructed to identify 2 old bodies, 3 middle aged bodies which were being brought to the mortuary. I was also told to look for tiredness or sullenness in the face. I had somehow convinced two families to share me details of their relatives whose bodies are being kept here. One is a 75-year old guy, who had passed away after being in bed for 2 years. Another, a 50-year-old man, who died of heart attack at the office desk. We aren’t getting many deaths to do politics on, like last November. Now, please excuse me.” And Ramesh rushed to an ambulance which was bringing a dead person to the morgue.
While our Mumbai correspondent was waiting for further info, our Chennai reporter was quick to grab the reason behind. He had interviewed Suresh Murugan who was posted by DMK outside Royapettah Government Hospital morgue. Suresh had said, “We got calls to appear before mortuaries and stake claim for bodies which were classified as orphaned ones. We skimmed through profiles and have shortlisted 4. We are paid heftily to get bodies from morgues. If we bring a 70+-year-old body, we were promised of 5000 Rupees. 10000 for 40-50 range.”
When pressed for the reason, he had blurted it out, “What to do boss? GST (Goods and Services Tax) has been rolled out by Modi government. We have to somehow find out the reason to protest against it. None of the traders are committing suicide or dying naturally for the past three days. That is why we have been given the task of identifying bodies that look like traders or poor merchants and tie their death to GST rollout. Hope these faces that I have shortlisted make it to the front page of newspapers tomorrow so that I can get lump sum amount.”
Meanwhile, the agent outside a hospital in Kolkata was furious, “Why can’t these TMC folks slaughter 2-3 traders belonging to CPM or BJP as usual and bring them fresh to the newspaper headlines as victims of GST? Going inside the mortuary gives me jitters!”