By Andrew Irumba
Gulu: Massive protests rocked Gulu town Saturday morning after cops from Amuru police dumped a corpse outside Gulu hospital mortuary.
Sources in Gulu town reveal that angry residents of Limo Ward in Laroo Division in Gulu municipality staged protests, demanding that the dead should be treated with dignity. The unidentified body is said to have been dropped outside Gulu mortuary by on Friday evening shortly after recovering it from an accident scene. Residents claim that they saw a police patrol truck dropping the body wrapped in a black polythene bag at the entrance of mortuary. On Saturday morning, residents mobilised themselves to protest against police’s action, saying it was traumatizing and dehumanizing to treat a body that way. They demanded permission to bury the body along Pece Channel, about 30 Meters South of the Hospital Mortuary.
One of the concerned residents identified as Charles Ojok told the media that “We had gathered to bury the body at Pece Channel since Police and Gulu Municipal authorities had failed to take good care of it.” The residents threatened to lynch Richard Anyama, the Gulu Municipal Health Inspector for failing to compel Police to remove the body that was lying at the mortuary gate. Anyama’s plea that he had gone to take the body for burial fell on deaf ears. He escaped the scene by fleeing to Gulu Police station located some 50 Meters West of the Morgue. The chaos then prompted John Bosco Nyangkol, the Officer in Charge of Operations at Gulu Central Police Station to lead a group of suspects from the police cell to retrieve the body.
They arrived on a Police pick up with gloves on their hands under tight police security. Their arrival provoked the angry residents to threaten the Police further. It took the intervention of the Gulu Municipality Member of Parliament Lyandro Komakech and Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Betty Aol Ochan and others to calm down the rowdy crowd.
The leaders condemned the Police action, saying they will follow up the matter with the Aswa River Region Police Headquarters and Gulu Hospital Administration. The Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, Patrick Jimmy Okema, says Police is dependent on the hospital mortuary to keep recovered bodies. He however, couldn’t explain why the body was dropped at the entrance of the mortuary. However, this is not the first time corpses are being dumped outside Gulu Mortuary, because in 2018 three coffins were abandoned outside the mortuary by unknown people although the police has to date never identified them.