Chennai: The wife of a doctor and coronavirus victim has made a teary-eyed appeal to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami for a decent burial for her husband after the authorities hurriedly finished the job due to stiff opposition from neighbours.
Dr Simon Hercules was unceremoniously lowered into a shallow grave at Velangadu in Chennai after an ambulance driver and a sanitary inspector ferrying the body came under severe attack from locals who feared the burial might lead to spread of the infection.
The 55-year-old doctor, who ran New Hope in Chetpet, was a renowned practitioner in his locality. Dr Hercules had contracted the disease while treating COVID-19 patients.
Making an appeal to the CM with folded hands, his wife Anandi Simon said, “This was his last wish.”
Anandi said Dr Hercules had appeared on a video just before he was put on ventilator and said if he doesn't survive the disease, he wanted to be buried following customs.
After his death, the priest at the local church had given permission for burial at Kilpauk but that never happened.
As the news spread, Health Minister C Vijayabaskar tried to reassure citizens that burying coronavirus victims posed no threat to people living in the neighbourhood.
He also promised strict action against those who damaged the ambulance carrying the doctor’s body and attacked the driver and sanitary worker. The accused will be put behind bars, the minister said.
A similar incident was reported when residents of Ambattur locality staged an agitation during the last rites of an Andhra Pradesh-based doctor who died in Chennai.