A crowd can be seen gathered at a burial ground in Bengaluru, standing in the way of Bengaluru civic body officials, who had arrived at the site to bury the body of a patient, who died due to COVID-19. An earthmover was parked at the entrance, stopping the ambulance from entering the burial ground. A video of this went viral on social media on Thursday.
The incident occurred at the burial ground in Bengaluru’s MS Palya on Wednesday evening. Speaking to TNM, Mohammed Ismail, a member of Mercy Angel, an organisation that is helping provide logistical aid to patients with COVID-19, said people in the area had gathered at the burial ground and stopped the ambulance from entering.
Local Residents protesting against the Burial at the Christian Cemetery in MS Palya, They attempted to pelt stones at the Ambulance...Police has arrived !@BangaloreMirror @BlrCityPolice @deepolice12 @tv9kannada @publictvnews @suvarnanewstv @TOIIndiaNews @zoo_bear @CMofKarnataka pic.twitter.com/lNQMJKeXCl— Mohammed Ismail (@IsmailMd008) July 16, 2020
The ambulance was carrying the body of an 86-year-old man, who succumbed to COVID-19. His family members had come along with members of Mercy Angels to witness the burial from afar. “They did not want the body of the COVID-19 patient to be buried there,” Ismail added.
The crowd reportedly pelted stones at the ambulance that was parked outside the burial ground and Ismail said that the ambulance had to be moved further down the street to avoid any further attack.
“We called the Vidyaranyapura Police and a sub inspector came to the spot immediately. She tried to make the people understand that the body will be buried according to the guidelines set for burying bodies of COVID-19 patients. She tried to convince them but the people did not agree,” Ismail said.
The Vidyaranyapura Police told TNM that when the people refused to allow the burial to take place, they had to arrange for a cold storage facility for the body. “We helped the activists arrange for the body to be kept in the morgue at Baptist Hospital,” the police added.
Ismail said that the man’s body was kept in Baptist Hospital’s morgue until 5.30 pm on Thursday. The police and BBMP arranged for the man’s body to be buried at a burial ground on Hosur Road. “The patient’s family is shattered. They were in trauma because of his death and when people didn’t allow his body to be buried, it just devastated them,” Ismail added.