Fadnavis Upset Over PFI Help in Burying Covid Victims

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Devendra Fadnavis objected to an order issued last month by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), allowing the Popular Front of India (PFI) to facilitate burial of Muslim victims of Covid-19. — File photo

PFI volunteers pointed out that BJP-ruled Pune Municipal Corporation was the first to rope them in for such burials

MUMBAI — Senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis objected to an order issued last month by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), allowing the Popular Front of India (PFI) to facilitate burial of Muslim victims of Covid-19.

He asked Uddhav Thackeray government of Maharashtra to clear its stand on the decision, reports The Indian Express

Fadnavis tweeted the BMC order, dated May 18, entrusting PFI with the task.

The civic body’s order states, “Whenever there is a suspected Covid-19 death of a Muslim person, all hospitals should inform coordinators of the PFI. Task force team of PFI will facilitate burial…”

In his tweet, Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly, asked, “Shocked to know @mybmc [BMC] giving legitimacy to organisation like Popular Front of India, allegedly known for anti-national & anti-social activities. CM @OfficeofUT ji [Uddhav] do you agree to this? If not, will you take strong action?”

A group of volunteers affiliated to PFI have been working with civic bodies across the state to help with burials of Covid-19 patients, especially since Muslim families are facing opposition from community graveyards for burial of coronavirus patients. The group has helped bury 200 bodies across the state till date, none yet in Mumbai.

PFI volunteers pointed out that BJP-ruled Pune Municipal Corporation was the first to rope them in for such burials. Saeed Choudhary, a PFI volunteer, said, “In April, they (PMC) asked us to help with burials. We wanted to help, as there were a lot of problems around Muslims burials. In Pune we have buried 103 bodies.”

Additional municipal commissioner, BMC, Suresh Kakani said, “They (PFI) approached us to offer help…. Relatives are not willing to touch the bodies…We need help in disposing the bodies.”

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