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Villagers carry bodies for last rites through waist-deep water

PTI

Neemuch

Residents of a village in Madhya Pradesh are forced to wade through waist-deep water while carrying bodies for last rites to a cremation ground located at the end of a road inundated after rains.

The Congress termed the situation as “shameful”, and said it is the local panchayat’s responsibility to improve the situation.

The plight of the residents of Pipliya Hada village, located just eight km from the Neemuch district headquarters, came to light when local farmer Mohanlal Nagda approached the media on Monday to put forth the woes.

He told the media how members of a Scheduled Caste (SC) had to wade through the flooded road to carry the body of one Bhagwan Lal Bheel (70) to the cremation ground.

“We are forced to carry bodies while wading through waist-deep water by risking our own lives, as the way to reach the cremation ground is flooded after rains,” Nagda said.

“The villagers face this problem, especially during the rainy season every year, and despite our demand for construction of a bridge or a stop dam, nothing has happened so far,” he alleged. Besides, the Scheduled Caste (SC) community members in some places in the district were also facing shortage of wood for performing the last rites, he said.

District Congress unit’s working president Rajkumar Ahir said, “This is a shameful incident.” It is the responsibility of the local village panchayat to improve the situation in the village, he said.

Neemuch Collector Ajay Gangwar also said that it was a major lapse on part of the local panchayat. “I will also instruct the zilla panchayat’s chief executive officer to repair the road leading to the cremation ground in the village and to also construct a bridge or a stop dam on it to prevent recurrence of such a situation,” he said.

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