Fact-check: How many bodies were found on the roof of Multan's Nishtar Hospital last year?

As per the official inquiry report, there were four bodies on the roof, not 200 or 500 as being suggested online

Geo Fact-Check

Late last year, Tariq Zaman Gujjar, the then-advisor to the chief minister of Punjab, found rotting bodies on the roof of a public healthcare facility in Multan, Punjab. Soon after, claims began circulating online suggesting that the decomposing corpses numbered in the hundreds.

The claims are false.


“500 abandoned bodies were recovered from Punjab Nishtar Hospital,” wrote a Twitter user on October 14, 2022. “Many corpses have had their chests ripped open and their human organs removed.”

The user also alleged that the dead men were from Balochistan. The tweet has been retweeted 460 times, to date.

“Three dozen mutilated corpses have been found on the rooftop of the hospital’s mortuary, shocking the whole nation,” a verified Twitter account wrote last year. “Nothing has been done by the Punjab government to investigate the issue as usual.”

Similar claims were shared by other accounts on Twitter and Facebook.

*The tweets have not been reproduced above in their entirety, as they carry images and videos of decaying bodies.


This week, Geo Fact Check was able to exclusively obtain the official inquiry report prepared by the Punjab government after the incident at Multan’s Nishtar Hospital in October last year.

According to the report, there were four bodies on the rooftop, not 200 or 500, as suggested online.

The report states that as per the standard operating procedures (SOPs), issued by the Home Department of Punjab in 2014, the police were required to bring unidentified bodies to a public hospital for post-mortem. After which, the bodies were handed over to the hospital's anatomy department for teaching purposes.

Mariam Ashraf, the chairperson of the department of anatomy at Nishtar Hospital, told the six-member committee probing the incident that the bodies were to be kept in three special-built rooms on the roof, to decay and putrefy them, in order to use them later for examination by medical students.

In the first week of October, the hospital received four unclaimed bodies, three of men, aged 30-40 years, and one of a woman aged 60 years.

All four bodies, states the report, were either foul smelling, decaying, or full of maggots, which meant that they were not in a condition to be used later for teaching.

“The security guards instead of placing the dead bodies in the purpose-built rooms constructed on the rooftop …for putrefaction, placed the same on the rooftop openly,” the seven-page report reads, adding that the security guards overlooked standard guidelines and showed negligence.

The report then holds six individuals responsible, including the chairperson of the anatomy department for failing to contact the relevant police stations to return the bodies for burial.

It further suggests that in the future dead bodies should only be handed over to medical colleges on a need basis.

The report, which has yet to be made public, even six months after the incident, clearly states that four bodies were found on the open roof, not 500.

With additional reporting by Shahadat Hussain and Nadia Khalid.

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