Tamil Nadu: Residents oppose cremation of COVID-19 victims’ body for fear of pandemic spread

South India

The local residents forcefully entered the crematorium premises and threatened the employees not to cremate bodies of coronavirus victims in future

The local residents of the textile town of Tirupur in Tamil Nadu raised objection to the cremation of COVID-19 victims' body for fear of the pandemic spread in the nearby residential areas.

The incident occurred at Aathupalayam on Monday at around 7 pm in Tirupur town. 

On Monday evening, the body of a 62-year-old man from Gokulam Colony, who succumbed to COVID-19 in the morning at the Tirupur government hospital, was cremated at the electric crematorium at Aathupalayam, said a report in The New Indian Express.

After the cremation, the local residents forcefully entered into the crematorium premises and threatened the employees asking them not to cremate any COVID-19 victim’s body there in future.

"Relatives and undertaker left after they cremated the body. However, by 7 pm, over 25 people entered the crematorium premises and threatened the watchman and other workers asking them not to cremate COVID-19 patients. They even warned the watchman of dire consequences if they continue to take in such bodies," a Tirupur Municipality official was quoted as saying in the report.

The scared employees sought police help seeing the agitated mob. The police convinced the enraged local residents that all safety procedures would be followed and the smoke from the crematorium would not spread the pandemic among the locals.

The police also informed the locals about the legal implications if they prevented cremation or burial of the coronavirus victims’ body.

The Tamil Nadu government in April proclaimed an ordinance in which it said that any move to prevent of stop cremation or burial of COVID-19 victims was a punishable offence. Any such action would attract imprisonment up to three years.

Image credit: Outlook

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