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Assonora denies cremation, says dead man was not resident

July 08, 2020 07:18 AM

COURTESY TOI JULY 8

Assonora denies cremation, says dead man was not resident
Bindiya.Chari@timesgroup.com

Panaji:

After the Assonora village panchayat refused to allow a resident to conduct his father’s last rites on the grounds that he was not from the village, the Bardez block development officer (BDO) has written to the panchayat stating that it has a duty to provide crematorium facilities within its jurisdiction.


The letter from BDO-1, Bardez, Anil Dhumaskar, states that in 2017, village panchayat secretaries were instructed to take appropriate steps to provide burial grounds and crematoria within their jurisdiction.

The resident, Anil Patil, told TOI that he’s been living in Assonora for the past ten years, and has a house in the village. However, when his father died last month, he couldn’t conduct his last rites there. He said that the panchayat, as well as its crematorium committee, refused to allow the last rites as his father didn’t have documents to show he was a resident.

Patil’s father, who was unwell, had moved to Assonora to stay with his son during his last days. He later died, and was refused permission to be cremated. “At the eleventh hour, I had to arrange to take my father’s body to the Mapusa crematorium,” Patil said, adding that a panch member, Pravin Bugde, helped him do so. “It was quite shocking that I couldn’t conduct my father’s last rites in the village I’ve spent the last decade in”.

Patil, shocked by the panchayat’s stance, wrote to the deputy collector seeking action. “There can’t be such a law,” he said. “That’s why I approached the authorities seeking justice.”

‘Meet called with regards to BDO’s letter’

Bugde, the panch member, said that the village panchayat faced problems in the past, and as a result, its crematorium committee, members and locals decided that a person would be allowed to be cremated at the Assonora crematorium only if they are a resident of Assonora. “We have a called a meeting with regards to the communication received from the BDO’s office,” he said.

The BDO, which directed the panchayat secretary to call a meeting and verify the rules framed under the Goa Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, also asked the panchayat to take necessary action and submit a compliance report within 30 days

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