Dr Pradeep Kumar from Chennai lost his friend ‘Dr Simon Hercules’ to coronavirus infection. But this is the not the only trauma he had to face. He had to bury his friend and neurosurgeon Dr Simon Hercules in the middle of the night using his bare hands and a shovel at a crematorium with the help of just two hospital ward boys after the undertakers fled when a mob, protesting the internment, attacked them.
He decided to go ahead with the burial by himself when the locals did not allow for burial. The locals opposed the burial because of the misconception that the contagion may spread in their neighbourhood if the virus victim's burial took place.
“The crowd wanted us to get lost with the body, they attacked us, they hit us, they made us bleed, they made us run away," a helpless and teary-eyed Dr Kumar told India Today.
"It was very difficult, he [Dr Hercules] was such a gentleman and a kind-hearted doctor. No one could have ever hated him," he added.
Sharing the incident, he said:
"First we decided to go to a cemetery. There we came to know that things are not well so officials changed the venue. There the excavator was digging a pit (according to WHO guidelines, bodies of Covid-19 patients need to be buried 12 feet into the ground) and after nearly 15 minutes, a huge mob attacked us. There were 50-60 people pelting stones, hitting us with big wooden sticks. They threw at us whatever they could find," he recounted.
"The ambulance was trashed, the windshield was completely broken and the driver was bleeding. In fact, we had to first rush them to the hospital. We called the police and they got the situation under control," he added.
Perhaps the most heart-wrenching thing about the incident is that Dr Hercules's family was not even able to give him a proper send-off.
"Dr Hercules's family was there when we were attacked. His wife and son came but they had to escape after the mob came. His daughter is also Covid-19 positive and thus she couldn't even see her father's face for the last time," Dr Kumar said.
"There was just one shovel which I gave to one of the ward boys and two of us used our hands to fill the 8-10 feet pit. It took over an hour for us to complete the task and by then it was about 1.30 am (Monday)," he said, adding a policeman lent a helping hand towards the end.
- We feel sorry for our beloved Dr Simon Hercules and his family. May he Rest in Peace.
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