Evil reigns, after dark

But one intense look at many of the city’s graveyards after dark, and you would wonder why they have now become safe havens for anti-social elements, ready to strike at your peace !

Although most of the graveyards are fenced, miscreants are adept at making their entries into these restricted areas. Take the case of the Muslim Burial Ground located on Mysore Road, which is part of the Central Muslim Association of Karnataka. This 123-year-old burial ground, spread across 25 acres, is a safe hotspot for many rowdy elements.

According to the burial ground watchman, Janaab Sardar, the place is infested with thieves. "They bring in ganja and smoke here all day. If we try to chase them away, they scare us with their knives,” says he.

The burial ground manager Altaf Pasha laments that there is no way to stop the miscreants since the graveyard has many gates. They enter through one and leave from another.

“Earlier it was ganja, now the new thing is the ‘Whitener’ which gives them a kick and it is easily available in the market.  When we complain to the police about these activities, even before the policemen enter, they escape from a different gate”

The closure time of the BBMP crematorium located at Vittalanagar in Chamarajpet has created another problem, also caused by miscreants. Although the crematorium closes at 7 pm, many families especially from the Brahmin community bring in the bodies for cremation after 8 pm. 

Since the Harishchandra Ghat in Rajajinagar is closed, many bodies are being diverted here.  This timing has created a problem among the two BBMP workers who work only for two shifts till 7 pm. Any ‘body’ which is brought after 7 pm is attended by miscreants who charge the family for the cremation ritual. 

“When we try to question these anti-social elements that the crematorium must not be used after 7 pm, they try to threaten us by brandishing knives. They mess up the whole place in the night,” points out Narasimha, one of the keepers of the Crematorium.
Narasimha’s complaints to the police that the miscreants were a nuisance, taking away all the money meant for BBMP, has apparently fallen on deaf ears. Since the place does not even have a locking system, anybody can just walk in and create trouble.

This Hindu crematorium was to be converted to an 'electric crematorium.’ But since residents objected, the bodies are now being allowed to be burnt using only dry wood.
Besides the miscreants' problem, the place needs urgent attention in terms of hygiene.

A storm water drain running next to the 'place for burning' has been blocked completely with ashes, half burnt wood and dry flowers choking the entire drain. The BBMP seems to have ignored the maintenance of this place as the families which come here for their ritual leave all the material at the spot, without cleaning the premises. 

The Christian burial ground on Mysore road has a five acre land for its cemetery. A few mischief mongers did enter the place and created problems a few months ago. Says the head priest of the Church: "A few months ago, some miscreants had entered the premises in the night and damaged slabs of many tombstones.”

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