A COVID-19 victim was buried on municipal land in Maharashtra's Nagpur after a local Christian cemetery said it would only allow the burial of his ashes after cremation.
The 74-year-old man was a member of the local Protestant church and was undergoing treatment at a government hospital in Maharashtra since August 1.
While the family approached the Jaripatka Christian Cemetery for burial, citing the COVID-19 outbreak and the facility's proximity to some residential premises, a member of the cemetery's committee told them that the deceased's ashes could be buried there, the man's son told PTI.
"We wanted a regular traditional burial without cremation (burning of the body) for which we were not getting permission. They were reluctant for the burial of a COVID-19 patient in the Jaripatka cemetery," he said.
As it was getting late and the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) authorities were awaiting the family's approval for the last rites of the deceased, the family decided to bury him at the burial place the NMC gave them at their Mankapur crematorium premises.
"The cemetery is situated in a residential locality and there was lack of space there due to the rains. There was also a problem of digging the grave due to rains. We referred to the instances in which some COVID-19 patients were cremated at ghats and their ashes were buried in the cemetery as per Christian rituals," Jaripatka Christian Cemetery president Ganesh Barve said.
Barve added that the family was also given an option for burial at Bhandewadi cemetery, which is located in a little remote area. "However, we did not get a call back from them," Barve said.