‘VIPs’ try to cut the queue for funerals, put back in line

Employees of 12 crematoriums join hands to protest after instances of those with political clout cutting the queue, threatening them to hurry up spark ugly scenes


Employees of all 12 crematoriums in the city carried out a protest outside the Harishchandra Ghat on Wednesday after some persons allegedly wielded political clout to cut the queue and insisted that they be attended to first, kicking up a huge row on Tuesday evening.

The staff demanded that everyone must follow the queue system and should not use force them. They said they would stop working if this continues.

Madhiyarasan, a staff with one of the crematoriums, told Bangalore Mirror, that all of them were facing harassment from the people with political background. These people allegedly threatened the workers of dire consequences if they are not allowed to go first.



The other people in the queue in turn accuse the crematorium workers of having taken bribes to do that. “As it is people lose their patience as they have to waiting outside for such long hours and when someone cuts the queue and gets special treatment, things get worse. We all follow the queue system and ask people to stand in line no matter who the person is and what urgent matters they have to attend to. But, from the past few days, as the numbers are increasing and people have to wait for longer hours, many come to us directly and threaten us to push their slot up ahead. They try to scare us with name-dropping and threaten us. The crowd then fights with us accusing us.”

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Venkatesh, an employee with the Harishchandra Ghat, said that they receive over 50 non-covid bodies on a daily basis and it’s very difficult for them to manage the crowd. “On Tuesday evening, we had finished about 25 cremations and there were about 15 ambulances waiting in the line when someone approached us claiming political influence. They asked us to cremate the body immediately. We refused at first but the man called the politician and threatened us so we had to carry out the cremation,” he said.

As it is people lose their patience as after all the waiting and when someone cuts the queue, things get worse

– Madhiyarasan, crematorium worker

But as soon as those people left, the ones in the queue turned against the crematorium workers. “After facing the huge argument with the people outside, we continued our work when the same person sent another body and asked us to hurry up with it. When we refused, he threatened to complain against us accusing us of taking bribes from family members and get us removed from our work,” he said.

He said they asked those people to leave. “All of us from different crematoriums discussed the issue and everyone said they too were experiencing this problem. So we decided to take up the issue and carry out the protest,” he said.

As most of the staff were present at the protest, all the crematoriums delayed the cremations on Wednesday and it was resumed only after the BBMP officials and the police assured them of support.


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Sagar Biswas

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