TAMIL NADU

Residents obstruct burial

Up in arms:Health workers making arrangements for burial in Periyakayntha Kulam village, following residents’ protest.Special Arrangement

Up in arms:Health workers making arrangements for burial in Periyakayntha Kulam village, following residents’ protest.Special Arrangement  

An ambulance carrying the body of a 52-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 was denied entry into Meledayalam village near Gingee on late on Tuesday for over eight hours, after local residents staged a protest fearing the spread of the infection.

Revenue officials were in a fix as locals dug pits and parked a tractor on the approach road leading to the village, forcing them to bury the body in Periyakayntha Kulam village.

According to sources, the victim, hailing from N.R. Pettai in Meledayalam, tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago and was referred from the Tiruvannamalai Government Hospital to a private hospital in Vellore. He died on Tuesday evening and his body was brought in an ambulance to Meledayalam the same day.

However, when the ambulance reached the entry point of the village around midnight, residents refused it entry to the village. Despite persuasion by Revenue officials, the locals refused to budge.

The residents also contended that the victim owned houses in Vellore and Gingee but his family chose to perform the last rites at Meledayalam since it was their ancestral village. With the residents refusing to budge, the family waited for over seven hours with the ambulance in Gingee. The body was later taken to a graveyard in Periyakayntha Kulam village.

A Revenue official said that the body was buried in Periyakayntha Kulam village following pleas by local residents.

“The family also owned a house in Gingee and they accepted their request. The body was buried following safety protocols,” he said.

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