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With villagers staying away, kin ferry Covid victim on bicycle for last rites

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BELAGAVI:

Despite the government’s appeals to people to treat Covid victims’ bodies with dignity, fear-driven boycotts continue to shadow the last rites of victims.

After a senior citizen with Covid-like symptoms died in MK Hubli village of Belagavi district, two relatives had to take the body on a bicycle to the burial ground as the locals stayed away and no vehicle could be arranged.

The elderly man had been advised treatment at the Belagavi district hospital, but he died at his home before admission.

The relatives alleged that the tahsildar was informed but no help was forthcoming.

It was only when a taluk panchayat member, Puttappa Pattashetty, came to know about the body being carried on a bicycle that he arranged for a vehicle. Later, the locals too had a change of heart and helped with the last rites.

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