Athgaon Kabarstan: The final resting place for COVID victims
As the death toll due to COVID-19 is surging across the State, Guwahati’s Athgaon Kabarstan has become the final resting place for the victims belonging to
* 133 COVID victims buried to date
GUWAHATI: As the death toll due to COVID-19 is surging across the State, Guwahati's Athgaon Kabarstan has become the final resting place for the victims belonging to the Muslim community.
The Athgaon Kabarstan, one of the biggest graveyards in Asia, has been serving as a burial site since the pandemic started last year. To date, a total of 133 COVID victims have been buried in the ground. Though the stigma against COVID-19 patients continues, a six-member team from the graveyard including the Imam has taken the responsibility for the burial process.
"We are doing the cremation process by following the COVID protocols. The administration has provided us with an adequate quantity of PPE kits and other necessary items for safety. Every day, from 3 pm to 11 pm we are working. We have buried up to 6 COVID victims in a day. According to the administration, as many as five bodies of COVID victims will be brought for cremation here today," said Athgaon Kabarstan Committee secretary Murtaza Islam.
He further said that the workers are trying to follow all the rituals while burying the victims. However, to avoid the transmission of the virus, it is hard to perform all the rituals as needed, he added.
"According to Islamic rituals, every deceased person has to be bathed before being buried. As it is not possible due to the COVID norms, we are sprinkling water on the body as a part of the ritual. We are also performing Janazah Namaz (funeral prayer) for every deceased along with their family members.
The Kafan is being provided by the families. But if the victim's family cannot afford a Kafan, the committee provides arranges it for them," said Islam.
A section of the cemetery has been earmarked for COVID-19 patients. Islam underlined that people from all across the Northeast can bury their kin here. It is to be mentioned that the decision to bury COVID patients in the Athgaon Kabarstan was taken last year during a meeting held among various masjid committees.
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