Home Politics Ready to Offer Burial Service to Covid Victims, PFI Helpless Sans Permission

Ready to Offer Burial Service to Covid Victims, PFI Helpless Sans Permission

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Ready to Offer Burial Service to Covid Victims, PFI Helpless Sans Permission

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Popular Front of India (PFI) had taken upon itself the task of burying the victim of Covid-19 in various districts of Maharashtra, as also the country, if relatives of the victims refuse to perform their last rites. However, their proposal landed in trouble after former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis started playing politics over their burial service.

On May 18, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is currently under Shiv Sena rule, announced that in the case of covid death among Muslims in the city, the coordinators of the PFI should be informed along with police and medical officers.

“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…” reads the BMC order.

Expressing shock over the order, Fadnavis said that an “anti-national” organisation is being given legitimacy by the government.

“Shocked to know that @mybmc giving legitimacy to organisation like Popular Front of India (PFI), allegedly known for anti-national & anti-social activities. Hon CM @OfficeofUT ji do you agree to this?If not, will you take strong action?,” tweeted Fadnavis.

While tweeting this, Fadnavis forgot that the BJP ruled Pune Municipal Corporation had already given legitimacy to the PFI by giving them permission for the burial services. After Fadnavis’s tweet, the Pune Corporation revoked the permission given to the PFI for the burial services.

Talking to Clarion India, general secretary of the PFI Anis Ahmed said they would not do burial services without permission and they need the permission in the name of their organisation not any individual.

“In different districts of India, we have sought permission from the district magistrates and we got it at many places and were doing burial services. We got permission recently in Mumbai and we started doing this there. But the rivalry between the BJP and the Shiv Sena got Fadnavis to tweet about the PFI that the Shiv Sena is giving legitimacy to the PFI. Then, we counter to that if you are accusing the Mumbai Municipal Corporation of giving us legitimacy, what about Pune where we have doing this for two months,” he said.

As for legitimacy to the organization, he said they don’t need certificate from either the BJP or the Shiv Sena. But, at a difficult situation when people are not receiving the body of their dead, they are only trying to help them and the administration. He wondered why rather than supporting them, the BJP was playing cheap politics.

He confirmed that the Pune municipality revoked the permission for the burial services under pressure from Fadnavis,. But Muslim and Dalit groups came out in support of them in Pune.

The PFI has helped perform last rites of 200 victims of covid-19 irrespective of their religion across the state. They are doing this in Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Nanded, Prabani and Malegaon. In Pune, they have buried 103 bodies.

“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,” said Saeed Choudhry, a PFI volunteer in Pune.

In Mumbai, the administration said that the PFI approached to them to help them to do burial services.

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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