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Assam's Karbi Anglong district's police chief went beyond his call of duty to perform the final rites of a deceased COVID patient on June 9.
The 58-Year-Old man who worked in Chennai as the assistant to a school cook returned to his native village in May. As per local sources, the man had tested negative for corona in the quarantine centre and was later sent for home quarantine. However, he later fell ill and died en-route to the Diphu Medical College and Hospital on the evening of June 7, with his sample testing positive for the coronavirus after his death.
After the completion of his post-mortem, the authorities decided to cremate his body at a location in Diphu on June 8, but due to opposition by the locality, they could not. The locals were gripped with fear and panic and did not let the cremation take place. In such a situation even the health workers and staff members failed to take responsibility for transporting the body from the hospital morgue.
It was then that Karbi Anglong SP Debojit Deuri stepped up, donned a PPE suit, and did the needful. It was decided that the body will be buried at the deceased's ancestral village.
A neighbour of the deceased told The Indian Express that the body was finally buried near a cremation ground in Bakalia.
"They dug a very deep pit to put the body in. One or two of his relatives were also present," he said. He added that the person is survived by his wife and two daughters who are married and that the family is financially constrained.
Assam Police also tweeted photos of Deuri and his guards completing the last rites.
A sensitive and humane gesture from SP @karbianglongpol & his team, who went way beyond the call of duty & personally performed last rites of a #COVID19 patient, following all given protocols.— Assam Police (@assampolice) June 9, 2020
A family member of the deceased was also present to perform required religious rituals pic.twitter.com/AVc0vr4qYv
Deuri, however, refused to take the credit and instead said it was a joint effort by the district administration, the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, police and Health Department officials. Speaking to The Indian Express, the chief said, "He died on June 7 and it was already June 9. One-and-a-half days had passed since the death. We could not have abandoned the dead man. Someone had to take responsibility,"
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