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Body of octogenarian COVID-19 victim cremated after hours- long protest by local residents in Kerala

However, the body was cremated at around 11.15 pm on Sunday as per the COVID-19 protocol, officials said on Monday. Denying a dignified farewell to the COVID-19 victim, a number of local residents had prevented the cremation, saying they feared contracting the infection.

PTI | Kottayam | Updated: 27-07-2020 13:05 IST | Created: 27-07-2020 12:49 IST
Body of octogenarian COVID-19 victim cremated after hours- long protest by local residents in Kerala
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

The body of a COVID-19 victim whose cremation was marred by protests on Sunday, was finally cremated here under tight police security late in the day, officials said on Monday. The police also booked a municipal Councillor of the BJP and 30 persons for preventing the cremation of the 83-year old man at a public crematorium at Muttambalam, after locals raised fears of the spread of coronavirus.

Amid protests by local residents on Sunday evening, public representatives including Kottayam MLA Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan had intervened and the cremation of the elderly person who died due to coronavirus infection was put on hold. However, the body was cremated at around 11.15 pm on Sunday as per the COVID-19 protocol, officials said on Monday.

Denying a dignified farewell to the COVID-19 victim, a number of local residents had prevented the cremation, saying they feared contracting the infection. The protesters had blocked the entrance of the crematorium run by the Kottayam Municipality, alleging the body was brought to the common crematorium after a church refused to allow burial of its dead follower's body in its cemetery.

The incident happened on a day when Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu expressed anguish over stigmatising COVID-19 patients and denial of a dignified farewell to those who succumb to the contagion. Naidu had on Sunday said such instances were uncalled for and urged the local communities and society to prevent their recurrence.

Referring to incidents wherein people oppose providing a space for burial of those who died of COVID-19, Naidu, in a Facebook post, had said it was unacceptable and goes against the age-old Indian tradition of being in solidarity with the bereaved families..


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