HP: Former High Court judge seeks probe into cremation of coronavirus patientPTI | Shimla | Updated: 10-05-2020 17:00 IST | Created: 10-05-2020 17:00 IST
A former Himachal Pradesh High Court judge has sought a probe into the cremation of a 21-year-old man who died of coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla recently. In a letter to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, the ex-HC judge said the man was allegedly cremated in violation of the Union government guidelines around midnight on May 5.
Demanding an inquiry, the former HC judge said performing cremation at odd hours around midnight itself is a clear violation of the guidelines issued by Union ministry of health and family welfare on March 15. The Shimla district administration had allegedly cremated the man from Mandi's Sarkaghat at the Kanglog crematorium in the presence of SDM (Urban) Neeraj Chandla around 11.30 pm, within hours of his death at Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC).
Thakur said the guidelines specifically specify that the body will either be handed over to relatives or be kept in a mortuary. When the body is handed over to relatives, then the cremation is to be done according to religious rituals with standard precautions, he added.
Meanwhile, alleging that the administration ignored religious rites and used 'kerosene' to cremate the man, NGO Umang Foundation president Ajai Srivastava shot a letter to the chief minister, demanding a high-level probe into the incident. He alleged that religious rites were fully ignored while cremating the Hindu man by using kerosene around midnight.
The Umang Foundation president has also sought the transfer of SDM Neeraj Chandla for a free and fair inquiry. The SDM could not be contacted for comments despite repeated attempts. Shimla Deputy Commissioner Amit Kashyap said he had got a report from the SDM in this regard and he will forward it to the state government.