Victims' last rites performed amid protests

Victims' last rites performed amid protests

The last rites of all the six victims of last week’s bus tragedy at Metikurke near here were performed in the town on Monday, even as relatives of some of them opposed the move.

The police performed the rites as per the Hindu, Muslim and Christian traditions. They decided to go ahead with the rituals as the bodies had start decaying.

They had been told that it would take 15 days to three months for the DNA reports to be handed over to them. The authorities of the Basaveshwara Medical College and Research Centre too were not keen on keeping the bodies in their mortuary for a long time.

The victims had been charred to death beyond recognition when the sleeper coach of a private bus caught fire on the night of April 16. As many as 20 people had suffered injuries. The relatives of only five of the victims attended the last rites. The identity of the sixth victim is yet to be ascertained by the police.

Earlier, high drama was witnessed near the burial ground as relatives of two of the victims (Nagaraj and Ravikumar of Kurki village) opposed the move to perform the last rites.

They demanded that the bodies be handed over to them. The relatives blocked the highway near Hiriyur as a mark of protest. The police took the protesters to the office of the Superintendent of Police Y S Ravikumar in Chitradurga, so as to pacify them.

Sudarshan, the Hiriyur Circle Police Inspector, told the relatives that they could not hand over the bodies to the families till the DNA reports came.

“The DNA report is a must to identify the bodies and hand them over to the relatives,” he said.

Sudarshan pleaded with the relatives to allow the police to perform the last rites. After much persuasion, the last rites were performed at 4 pm.

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