Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, May 6
The mortal remains of the 21-year-old Sarkaghat youth, who died of Covid-19 at the IGMC here, were consigned to flames at the Kanlogh cremation ground late last evening. None of his family member was present and the last rites were performed by two Home Guard jawans and two safai karamcharis, who were provided PPE kits.
The patient, who was referred from the Nerchowk medical college to Shimla yesterday, was accompanied by his mother, uncle and an attendant, who were quarantined after his death.
The district administration took permission from the deceased’s father, who was in Delhi, following which the body was taken to the cremation ground.
The lack of coordination between the Shimla MC and the district administration was visible, as the former refused to cremate the body pleading that as per guidelines it was required to perform the last rites of only unclaimed bodies, leaving SDM Neeraj Chandla, who was at the site, in lurch.
Only four persons — the SDM, tehsildar, driver and helper — were at the spot to ensure that the last rites are performed religiously.
“We only needed two health workers from the MC who have PPE kits, but the MC authorities did not cooperate and sent the workers at 12:30 am,” she said. Therefore under extraordinary circumstances, the body was cremated at night.
DC Amit Kashyap said permission was taken from the father of the deceased, who is in Delhi, to perform the last rites. A priest was arranged and as per the guidelines, people who covered the body, were using PPE kits.
Municipal Commissioner Pankaj Rai said as per the protocol, the cremation of unclaimed bodies were undertaken by the MC while in this case it was not an unclaimed body, and, therefore, the staff of the crematorium was supposed to do the needful.
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