Policeman performs last rites of victim after family disowns body

After the death of a suspected COVID-19 patient, his family refused to go near the body fearing infection. At that moment, a Delhi police officer, ASI Sushil Kumar, came forward and single-handedly carried out all the procedures and last rituals — transportation of the body, getting post-mortem conducted and finally the cremation.

Sonu Kumar, an electrician, was suffering from high fever and breathing problems. He was visiting a local clinic for treatment. When his condition worsened on April 19, he went to a hospital in East Delhi. However, he was turned away in the absence of bed and scarcity of oxygen supply. He went back home and died later in the day. Neighbours told his wife that they should not touch the body as he has died due to COVID-19 infection, said the police.

“The deceased was survived by his mother, wife and a 12-year-old son and after his death they all have shifted themselves to ground floor of the house while the body was on first floor,” said Mr. Kumar.

“I reached the victim’s house after receiving a PCR call. Not a single person from the locality came out to help. Even the family members refused to come forward. I kept trying for an ambulance the entire night and called up at all helpline numbers but all in vain. After getting no help from anywhere, I went to GTB Hospital on April 20 and managed to arrange a private ambulance.

“After everyone refused to hold the stretcher from the other end, I somehow convinced the ambulance driver to help,” said Mr. Sharma.

He added that as the family suspected that their kin died due to COVID-19 infection, he took the body to Hedgewar Hospital to get medico legal case (MLC) and then reached GTB Hospital mortuary to get post-mortem done.

“I took the body to Mayur Vihar cremation ground and performed the last rites,” said Mr. Kumar.

ASI Sushil Kumar told The Hindu that he was equally concerned about the safety of his colleagues and wanted to involve as few people as possible for the exercise.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 6:18:27 PM |

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