Karnataka government immerses unclaimed ashes of Covid victims as per Hindu traditions | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The Karnataka government has performed mass immersion of ashes (asthi) of Covid-19 victims in the Cauvery river, aimed at ensuring dignity in death.
Urns containing ashes of over 500 deceased from Bengaluru that were unclaimed were immersed into Cauvery river near Belakawadi in Malavalli taluk of Mandya district on Wednesday as per Hindu traditions, officials said.
This was said to be the first such large-scale immersion of ashes in the state during the pandemic.

The mass immersion of ashes of Covid dead was conducted today by the state government on the banks of river Cauvery at Belakavadi in Mandya district on Wednesday
The ashes were said to be largely from the open cremations sites on the outskirts of the city that were set up by the government when the Covid fatalities peaked last month and pressure was building up on crematoriums.
With no one turning up to collect the urns containing ashes of their deceased family member, despite repeated requests, the government had decided to take up the responsibility of immersing the ashes.
The mass immersion of ashes was performed by a battery of priests, in the presence of Revenue Minister R Ashoka, Mandya District-in-charge Minister K C Narayana Gowda and senior officials.
Ashoka, who himself participated in the rituals, said it will be replicated across the state to ensure dignity in death.
“When I saw reports about bodies being thrown into river Ganga it pained me. I didn’t want it to happen in our state. No body should be left out as an orphan body, Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners and Tahsildars in every district have to ensure that final rites are performed and if burnt ashes are immersed. I will issue orders to this effect,” he said.
Final rites of people belonging to other communities have been performed as per their traditions, he said.

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Sagar Biswas

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