Covid victim’s family asked to pay half a lakh to see body

Kolkata, Aug 11 (IANS) The family members of a Covid-19 victim on Tuesday alleged that they were asked to pay Rs 51,000 to catch a glimpse of their departed relative at a crematorium in Howrah district.
The incident took place at the Shibpur burning ghat along the Ganga when the family members of Hari Om Gupta, a resident of Howrah’s Shibpur area, went to the crematorium. They requested the corporation officials to allow them to see the deceased’s face once before the cremation.
They were asked to pay Rs.51,000, but later settled that by offering Rs.2,500, they alleged.
Hari Om Gupta tested positive for Coronavirus on Friday and got admitted to Sanjiban Hospital at Fuleswar in the district. He died on Sunday. His body was taken for cremation on Tuesday afternoon.
“We all went to the crematorium to take part in our brother’s final journey. We requested them just to show us his face before the body was consigned to flames. They asked me to pay Rs.51,000 but later we managed by paying them Rs.2,500. We were helpless and bereaved,” said Ramesh Gupta, the victim’s brother.
Meanwhile, the family has already lodged a written complaint with the office of the district Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH).
The officials of Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC), the state’s second largest civic body after the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), also assured that necessary action would be taken in the matter.
“The civic body will definitely look into the issue,” a senior HMC official said.

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