The Tamil Nadu government has promulgated an ordinance to punish those preventing the conduct of the last rites of Coronavirus (Covid-19) victims in an honourable manner.
In a press release issued last evening, the Edappadi K Palaniswami-led state government said the ordinance had been promulgated to prevent incidents of people protesting or blocking the funeral or cremation of those who die of the novel Coronavirus symptoms.
The ordinance paves the way for criminal prosecution of a person or group of persons preventing the funeral of a novel Coronavirus victim. Such persons would be punished under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939.
The punishment would carry imprisonment between a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years, plus a penalty.
The ordinance is on the heels of a group of persons preventing the burial of a neurologist, who died of Covid-19 infection, in Chennai at a cemetery in upmarket Kilpauk area last week.
Health officials were also prevented from burying the doctor at a nearby corporation cemetery and attacked. The officials then buried him at Velangadu burial ground in central Chennai area of Anna Nagar.
At Velangadu, too, the officials, the ambulance driver and the neurologist’s colleagues were initially prevented. They were all attacked and injured by the protesting people at Kilpauk as well as Velangadu.
The body of the Coronavirus victim had to be buried with full police security.
Two weeks ago, locals at suburban Ambattur and Vanagaram crematoria prevented the cremation of a Nellore-based doctor who, too, died of Coronavirus at a private hospital. After an ordeal lasting eight hours, the authorities managed to cremate the body at suburban Porur.
The third incident of a Coronavirus victim being prevented from getting honourable final rites took place in Coimbatore district three weeks ago.
So far, 1,885 persons have tested positive for Coronavirus in Tamil Nadu with 24 deaths being reported. Of these, 1,020 have recovered.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!