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Punjab govt should issue strict Direction Manual for performing last rites of Coronavirus victims: Grewal

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Chandigarh, April 7, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)

In view of inhuman treatment meted towards the cremation of the victims of Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19) in some parts of the state, the Punjabi Cultural Council have demanded from the Punjab government that they should immediately intervene and issue a strict direction manual in this regard so that no village or city should dare to refuse any person to carry out the cremation of the COVID 19 victim. The council have also demanded that efforts should be made to make people aware regarding the rumours and fears associated with this disease.

In a statement issued here today, Punjabi Cultural Council (Regd.) Chairman Mr Harjit Singh Grewal stated that it has been observed over the last few days that the ill-informed family members of some of the COVID 19 victims not only refused to claim their dead bodies from the hospitals, but even refused to carry out their cremation followed by last rites (Bhog). And sadly, the administration officials had to carry out the cremation of the victims.

Mr Grewal rued that sadly, the society have come to a point where a son is refusing to carry out the cremation of his mother, and such instances have hit the societal, cultural and traditional temperament of our society, that can have damaging implications in the future.

He said that the Local Bodies as well as the Rural Development & Panchayats Department should come up with a direction manual or an ordinance in this regard, so that it should not damage our societal fabric of Punjab, and no person should refuse the last rites of the deceased person. He demanded that a provision of fine or imprisonment should be added in case of any violation.

The Punjabi Cultural Council have demanded that in case the family refused to cremate/bury the victim, a permanent committee comprising councillor/numberdar/sarpanch or panchayat member should be formed and the last rites/cremation should be carried out by this committee. Besides, the provision of organising Antim Bhog or Rasam Uthala/Chautha etc should also be made by the Rural Development & Panchayats Department and Local Bodies department.

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