Karnataka Minister Immerses Unclaimed Ashes Of Covid Victims In Cauvery

Minister R Ashoka said that distressing scenes from north India, of the disposal of bodies, were a factor in his action.

Revenue minister R Ashoka immersed the ashes of over 500 such people in the river.

Bengaluru:

It is a tradition in much of southern Karnataka to immerse the ashes of those who have been cremated in the river Cauvery. But one of the many sad fallouts of the Covid pandemic is that the ashes of many patients who died of the virus were not claimed by relatives from crematoriums.

Revenue minister R Ashoka on Wednesday immersed the ashes of over 500 such people in the river. He said, "Today, we are immersing ashes in the Cauvery river. It is considered holy and it will help reach heaven. 560 persons' ashes will be immersed in Cauvery today. The families of those who died, for various reasons, could not collect the ashes. They are going through difficult times. The government is sharing the pain with them and trying to step into the part of the family. It is an emotional issue for us all, brothers and sisters of Karnataka people. It is my duty as Revenue Minister to do this."

The minister also said that distressing scenes from north India, of the disposal of bodies, were a factor in his action.

"We are seeing in the Ganga, thousands of bodies of those who died in Covid time," he said. "The birds are eating ...This is a shame to us. So we decided to give a respectful farewell to all the bodies who lost their life to Covid. That is my duty."

The number of new cases in Karnataka have been coming down of late but still remain high. At the worst of the second wave, crematorims in Bengaluru could not cope with the number of bodies that arrived, and hundreds of acres of land in different parcels around the city were designated as emergency cremation grounds.

Karnataka saw 14,304 new infections in the last 24 hours. 464 Covid patients died in the same period.