Family denied cremation of AIDS patient in village cremation ground

Soro: In a shocking incident, the family members were forced to cremate a member, who died of AIDS, in front of their house at Tentei village under Soro police limits in Balasore district on late Friday evening as the villagers did not allow them to cremate at the village cremation ground.

Reports said Nabaghana Mallick, an AIDS patient of Tentei village died on Friday morning. Soon after his death, his brother Prahllad Mallick took the body to the cremation ground on the outskirts of the villagers. However, the villagers did not allow him for cremation.

Finding no other way, the hapless brother returned with the body and cremated it in front of his house in the late evening.

Asked about the incident, Kartik Chandra Mallick, IIC of Soro Police Station, said the villagers told Prahllad not to cremate his brother in the old cremation ground as cremation is not held there since last five years as the area has been inhabited by the villagers. “The villagers also informed that since children go to school through the old crematorium ground, the cremation cannot be done there. They asked the brother of the deceased to cremate his brother near the river bank. But he overlooked the suggestion of the villagers and took the body and cremated on his own land in front of his house,” he added.

Asked whether the villagers had refused Prahllad not to cremate his brother as he was suffering from AIDS, the IIC said he has not received any complaint in this matter.

“As I took the body of my brother to the cremation ground in my village, the villagers did not allow me. Later, I took the body to the river bank but the people of other village also did not allow for cremation stating that since the deceased was an AIDS patient, the disease would spread in their village if he is cremated there. Later, I informed the police and the local tehsildar who arrived at my village in the evening. They said as they have no idea about the cremation ground in the village, they told me to cremate the body at some other place. Finally I cremated the body of my brother on my own land in front of my house,” Prahllad told OTV.

He further said his village has no permanent cremation ground as the administration is yet to earmark the area.

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Asked about the matter, additional tehsildar of Soro Satrughna Sethi said the body was finally cremated in presence of the local police. The tehsildar, however, fumbled to a question on whether the family of the deceased has been given financial assistance under Harischandra Yojana.

“I don’t know whether the family has been given the assistance under the programme. As per rules, the family is entitled to get the assistance,” he added.