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A mob in Bengaluru threw stones at an ambulance carrying an 86-year-old coronavirus victim, preventing his family from burying his body at a graveyard in M S Palya on Thursday, July 16.
The family of the man, who died at Baptist Hospital on the same day, had secured permission to bury the body at their church graveyard. The family members are residents of Vasanthnagar.
An angry mob, however, stopped the ambulance at the site. Eyewitnesses said that a crowd of about 50 people brought in a bulldozer and rolled two sewer concrete pipes across the entrance of the cemetery in an attempt to block access.
"As soon as the ambulance pulled up and our staff stepped out with PPEs, a crowd appeared from nearby streets and attempted to throw stones at the ambulance," Deccan Herald quoted Mohammed Ismail (30), a techie and coordinator for the NGO Mercy Angels, as saying.
Vidyaranyapura Police Inspector Praveen Kumar Y L, who arrived at the scene soon after, said: "They complained that the disease would spread from the burial site to their homes," he said, adding that his attempts to inform them that the body would be placed inside a 15-foot-deep and sanitised grave fell on deaf ears.
"The locality is a slum. On top of this, the graveyard is not a designated COVID-19 burial ground. No COVID bodies have been buried there before," he added.
After the police persuaded the ambulance staff and family to leave the area with the body, they eventually buried it at the Hosur Road Christian cemetery later in the day.
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