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Kolkata: People force authorities to cremate coronavirus patient's body in non-designated ghat

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Kolkata, Apr 02: Authorities on Wednesday were forced to cremate the body of a COVID-19 patient in a burning ghat that was not designated for the last rites of such cases, following objection from people in Dhapa area of the city.

Police said local people put up a road blockade near the cremation centre at Dhapa grounds saying they would not allow the last rites of a 57-year-old man from Belghoria in North 24 Parganas district to be performed there claiming that it would lead to spread of the virus in the area.

Police personnel stand guard as angry locals agitate at Dhapa Ground after they were not allowed to cremate the mortal remains of a coronavirus patient, during the nationwide lockdown

Senior police officers and civic body officials tried to convince them that specific precautions as per the prescribed protocol was followed and there was no way cremation of a body could lead to spreading of the virus.

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"We tried our level best but failed. Since we cannot delay the cremation process any further, we took the body to Nimtala," a senior police officer said. On March 23, locals near Nimtala crematorium in the northern part of the city had put up a road blockade not allowing cremation of another elderly man who died of coronavirus infection.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has designated a two-furnace cremation centre at Dhapa grounds, a burial ground at Baghmari for Muslims and another at Topsia for Hindus.

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