On Sunday, family members, friends and corporation workers became the victims of mob violence when they tried to bury the dead body of a 55-year-old neurosurgeon named Dr. Simon Hercules at the TP Chatram Burial Ground in Kilpauk, Chennai. Dr Simon from Chennai had tested coronavirus positive and breathed his last on Sunday. After he was denied burial in the cemetery at Kilpauk, he was buried at another burial ground nearby.
Mob violence in Anna Nagar
The local residents in Chennai demanded that the body be buried somewhere else, as the deceased died of Wuhan Coronavirus infection. They remained resolute in their stand, even after police intervention. When the body of Dr. Simon was taken to Velangadu burial ground in Anna Nagar, the hospital staff were faced with similar resistance from the locals.
A group of 50 locals engaged in a verbal confrontation with the medics. Two staff members were assaulted and the ambulance was vandalised. Reportedly, a health worker sustained head injuries. The medics had to flee the burial site and take the body back to the hospital morgue. The injured staff members are now being treated at the KMC hospital. Around 1:40 am in the night, the deceased was laid to rest Velangadu burial ground in Anna Nagar.
A total of 20 people have been arrested for mob violence by the Chennai police under the Epidemic Diseases Act and several Indian Penal Code Sections such as 147 (Rioting), 148 (Armed with Deadly Weapons), 307 (Attempt to Murder) and 332 (Obstructing a Public Servant).
“This is a shameful act. These fringe elements are robbing the chance of a dignified burial. The government should send a strong message to the public by taking severe action against the people who were involved in the brutal attack, they should be booked under the Goondas Act,” Tamil Nadu Government Doctor’s Association (TNGDA) secretary Dr. N Ravishankar was quoted as saying.
Indian Express turns burial into cremation
Indian Express, however, chose to refer to the unfortunate incident at the burial ground denying dignified burial to the doctor as ‘cremation’.
Indian Express had earlier concocted lies that Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad was segregating coronavirus positive patients on religious basis. A former Indian Express journalist had spewed hate on Dalits and claimed that Dalits gang-raped and killed Muslims during 2002 riots. Prior to that, the Indian Express had communalised a road rage incident claiming that a Muslim was beaten up for being a Muslim.