The State Human Rights Commission's direction was based on a complaint filed by the BJP district president.

Kerala minister lashes out at SHRC direction to not cremate Latvian womans bodyThe woman's sister at the cremation
news Controversy Friday, May 04, 2018 - 14:53

The Kerala State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) is part of a controversy, with allegations that the body has played into attempts to politicise the rape and murder of a Latvian woman. On Thursday morning, the Commission issued an order against cremating the body of the woman – which was the wish of her family. Instead, they ‘ordered’ that her body should be buried as per Christian beliefs – a move that has come under severe criticism from Minister for Devaswom and Tourism, Kadakampally Surendran.

The Commission’s order came in response to the BJP district president Advocate S Suresh’s complaint against cremating her body, because she was a Christian. He further alleged that the state government was showing “undue haste” in cremating the body of the woman.

While the victim’s body was cremated on Thursday evening at an electric crematorium in Thiruvananthapuram as per the family’s wishes, the SHRC’s action has kicked up a controversy over the locus standi of the body in giving such an order.

The BJP leader in his petition had said, “The woman died in dubious circumstances. She was a practicing Christian. She believed in resurrection after death. Hence the body should be buried as per Christian beliefs.”

Minister for Devaswom and Tourism, Kadakampally Surendran in a Facebook post lashed out at those opposed to cremating her body.

“Those who have come out against cremating the body are inhuman, and insult even dead bodies. The woman’s body was cremated at Santhikavadam considering the opinion of her sister and husband. The evil intention of the behind opposing it is clear for everyone to see,” he said.

“But the Human Rights Commission, by issuing direction as demanded by the BJP, in fact has violated human rights instead of protecting them. It is not understandable what authority the Commission has to issue such a direction,” he added.

Kadakampally further questioned the Commission’s move, citing the Vatican’s order with the  approval of the Pope that cremating a body is allowed as per Christian rituals. “The Commission became the advocate of religious matters even without knowing that? More grave is the move of the Commission that it didn’t ask the opinion of the relatives of the woman before jumping to issue the order. The Commission should have the wisdom to understand that the body was cremated with the approval of the family, following Christian rituals, and in the presence of a priest. The Commission shouldn’t be like the BJP which is inhuman, and shouldn’t be a violator of human rights,” he said in his post.



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