Muslim youngsters performed the last rites of an elderly Hindu widow in Mangalagiri after her son refused to do so, fearing she had COVID-19. The son also had disputes with his mother, police said.
The woman, Yuddham Dhanalakshmi, 70, lived with her daughter, Annapurna, in Bapatla. She slipped and fell on Sunday, and was taken to a government hospital, where she died the next evening.
As per her wish to have her last rites performed in her hometown, Annapurna shifted her body to Mangalagiri in an ambulance.
However, Dhanalakshmi’s son Nagamalleswara Rao refused to allow the body to be brought into his house, fearing that his mother may have contracted coronavirus.
As Annapurna tried to convince him, the body was left outside the house the entire night. Annapurna then informed the police, but they too could not convince Nagamalleswara Rao to perform the last rites.
As news of the incident went viral on social media, a group of youngsters who run a small organisation called ‘Khidmat’, came forward to perform the woman’s last rites. “We approached Annapurna and expressed our readiness to perform the last rites as per Hindu traditions. We later got permission from the police and performed the rites,” said Shafiq, a member of Khidmat.
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