Demand to withdraw move to dismiss crematorium workers

They refused to cremate body of a Nipah victim

Smasana Samrakshana Samithi, an organisation for the protection of crematoriums in Kozhikode city, have demanded that the Kozhikode Corporation withdraw the move to dismiss eight workers at the Mavoor Road crematorium for refusing to cremate the body of a Nipah victim. In a protest organised near the crematorium on Wednesday, the Samithi alleged that the workers at the traditional crematorium were not supplied any protective gear other than gloves and masks during cremation.

K. Shainu, Chairman of the Samithi, accused the Corporation of ‘step-motherly’ attitude towards the workers. He said the land where the crematorium was located was the property of Sreekanteshwara Temple, and not the Corporation. So, the Corporation had no power over the workers who were not its employees.

Demanding that the Corporation withdraw the alleged fake complaints against the workers, Mr. Shainu also asked the Corporation to include them, besides staff at other nine crematoriums in the city, in its payroll as permanent employees.

Corporation’s stance

However, the Corporation says the crematorium is its property. Only the staff at the electric crematorium on the premises are its employees. Health Standing Committee chairman of the Corporation K.V. Baburaj said the workers at the traditional crematorium were allowed there as it was their family profession. However, the Corporation was in the process of introducing a by-law for the administration of the crematorium to ensure accountability.

He denied the allegation that the workers were not given protective gear. “They refused to cremate the body even after we offered protective gear. They also did not allow any other person to do it. They prevented the Corporation Health Officer from doing his duty,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 12:14:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/demand-to-withdraw-move-to-dismiss-crematorium-workers/article24156972.ece

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