A 72-year-old man, native of the Doda district, became the fourth victim of coronavirus in Jammu region. A mob on Tuesday disrupted the funeral of a COVID-19 victim and forced his family members to flee with the half-burnt body, prompting intervention by the administration which later ensured the cremation at another place as per protocol.
“We had set out for the funeral along with a revenue official and a medical team, and had lit the pyre at a cremation ground in Domana area when a large group of local residents appeared at the scene and disrupted the last rites,” the man’s son said.
Only close relatives of the man, including his wife and two sons, were present during the cremation. They had to flee with the half-burnt body in an ambulance to save themselves from the mob which threw stones at them.
“We had sought permission from the government to take the body to our home district for the last rites, but we were told that all necessary arrangements were in place, and that we would not face any trouble during the cremation,” the victim’s son said.
He also alleged that the security officials present at the scene didn’t help.
“The ambulance driver and other staff from the hospital helped us a lot and managed to take us back to the GMC hospital with the body… the government should have come out with a better plan to conduct the funeral of coronavirus victims, taking into consideration the past experience and problems encountered during the funeral of such victims,” the victim’s son said.
Later, the body was taken to a cremation ground at Bhagwati Nagar area of the city, where it was consigned to flames in the afternoon in presence of senior civil officials, including additional deputy commissioner and sub-divisional magistrate under tight security.