Muzaffarpur: A three-member committee has begun its probe over the discovery of human skeleton remains near Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) here where most of the patients diagnosed with acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) are being treated.

Human skeletal remains were found near a garbage dump and in the bushes close to the post-mortem section of the state-run SKMCH last Saturday. The hospital has anyway been in the news in connection with the AES outbreak in the state in which at least 150 children have died since early June. The epicentre of the outbreak is Muzaffarpur.

Muzaffarpur District Magistrate Alok Ranjan Ghosh had formed the panel this Monday and sought the report in three days’ time.

Addressing media, Muzaffarpur Deputy Development Commissioner Ujjwal Kumar said, “The skeletons seem to be very old and it would be premature to arrive at any conclusion so early.”

A leading daily reported that an investigation team of the SKMCH accompanied by policemen had visited the spot on Saturday. One or two of the bodies were found charred and many skeletons were found strewn on the ground or stuffed in sacks.

Hospital and administration sources have claimed that these skeletons do not have a link with the AES deaths.

As per the standard operating procedure, once a hospital receives dead body, it has to contact the nearest police station and file a report. The corpse has to be kept in the postmortem room for 72 hours after the report has been filed.

If nobody turns up to identify the body within 72 hours, the post mortem department has to bury or burn the body following the stipulated procedure.