Vice President expresses concern over burial incident

Shillong, Apr 17: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, on Friday, expressed concern over the incident wherein locals from Meghalaya’s Jhalulapara area had protested against Dr John L Sailo’s burial. Dr Sailo, who died of Coronavirus, was finally buried at Raitsamthiah Presbyterian Church cemetery on Thursday.

Taking to Facebook, the Vice President wrote, “Deeply disturbed by a news item in today’s “The Indian Express” over a 36-hour delay to find a resting place to the dead body of a 69-year-old popular Meghalaya doctor following strong resistance from the local people.”

“It was reported that the physician’s body lay for several hours in the hospital he had founded after attempts to bury or/cremate him were unsuccessful due to local resistance. This unfortunate behavioural from the locals forced the Chief Minister to finally intervene in the mater and help resolve the matter,” the post read.

He said that such incidents were a blot on the society’s consciousness and of “great concern for all of us irrespective of party, religion and region.”

The Vice President said that there was an urgent need to educate people and remove misconceptions on COVID-19 so as to prevent such inhuman incidents in the future.

“It is a matter of deep anguish that such an incident occurred in spite of the advisory issued by the Central Government in March for the management of dead bodies infected with novel Coronavirus,” he wrote.

He urged all citizens to be empathic and respond compassionately, and not to react irrationally, especially during these testing times. “People must act responsibly and not believe in rumours. Shared my concern with the Home Secretary and the DG, ICMR. The need of the hour is to create greater social awareness among the general public by various stakeholders,” he added.

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