65-year-old cremated by roadside over lack of crematorium in village | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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65-year-old cremated by roadside over lack of crematorium in village

By, Bengaluru
Jun 18, 2024 08:00 AM IST

Villagers had been verbally instructed to perform last rites in front of the village’s kalyani (pond), but this informal arrangement has been inadequate and has led to conflicts.

Residents of Konamuddanahalli village in Ramanagara district near Bengaluru were forced to cremate the body of an elderly man by the roadside due to the absence of a designated cremation ground. The deceased, 65-year-old Rudrayya, passed away on Sunday morning, resulting in a series of events driven by the lack of a cemetery space.

The village was allotted 13 guntha land. However, an individual claimed to have owned the land (HT)
The village was allotted 13 guntha land. However, an individual claimed to have owned the land (HT)

“Despite numerous appeals to local authorities, including the tahsildar, deputy commissioner, and elected representatives, no official action had been taken to identify and prepare a suitable area for a cemetery,” said K Jagadish, a villager, in a statement to reporters.

Villagers had been verbally instructed to perform last rites in front of the village’s kalyani (pond), but this informal arrangement has been inadequate and has led to conflicts.

Villagers attempted to carry out Rudrayya’s cremation in the designated area opposite the kalyani. However, they were met with objections from a private individual who claimed ownership of the land. The individual presented documents supporting their claim and warned the villagers against using the space for cremation.

With no other options available, the villagers resorted to cremating Rudrayya’s body by the roadside.

Half of the village’s 250 families lack their own land for private burials. The villagers had identified a piece of government land suitable for a cemetery and had presented this information to the authorities along with supporting documents. But, their efforts have been ignored.

“Though the government allocated land measuring 13 gunthas (1315.2sqm), it was already occupied by another person, claiming it was his own land,” Kootgal gram panchayat development officer K Somashekar told HT. “Villagers are demanding other land be sanctioned for graveyards, but revenue officials have yet to act on the demand.”

Ramanagara tahsildar B Tejasvini acknowledged the issue, stating, “We handed over the 13 guntha land to the Kootgal gram panchayat as Konamuddanahalli came under its limits. I will send officials to check the status on Tuesday and clear any kind of encroachment to enable proper cremation of bodies.”

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