Since both the dead and the protestors were Christians belonging to different sects and no Hindus were involved, the media neither debated nor sensationalised the news.
While the country is rightly outraged over the denial of burial grounds for Dr Simon Hercules who had treated Corona infected patients, it has emerged that he was denied the Chrisitan burial ground as he belonged to a different sect. Dr Simon was Roman Catholic and his body was taken to a cemetery belonging to the Church of South India (CSI) Christians who violently denied him the burial. Dr Simon was then taken to a Hindu burial ground in Chennai where he was laid to rest.
Dr Simon Hercules died at a private hospital in Vangaram in Chennai on Saturday night. The 55 year old Neuro surgeon, Managing Director of New Hope Hospital in the city, was admitted in early April after showing symptoms of Covid-19. He died due to Covid 19 and likely contracted the virus from patients he was treating.
When his body was taken to a burial ground at TP Chatram in Kilpauk as per the wishes of his family, a mob had gathered to protest burying the mortal remains of doctor who belonged to Roman Catholic sect whereas the cemetery belonged to the CSI.
Dr. Simon’s friend said that when they arrived at the CSI cemetery. a mob of over 200 people were protesting. “We then moved to Velangaud cemetery where even people had gathered In large numbers. We were hit with wooden logs and stones when we tried to bury him. They damaged ambulance that carried his body. They attacked ambulance crew, corporation health workers, our colleagues. We left the place with bleeding injuries on their heads.”
Facebook Post of Dr. Simon’s friend narrating the harrowing experience
After sending the injured to the hospital, Dr. Simon’s body was taken to a Hindu burial ground where he was laid to rest as per WHO burial norms for Corona infected. “Only Dr Simon’s wife and son were present there. He did not deserve this treatment”, rues Dr. Simon’s friend.
Initially the local media termed the violent protestors only as a ‘mob’ but later buried the news when they came to know that the opposers belonged to the CSI sect. Since both the dead and the protestors were Christians belonging to different sects and no Hindus were involved, the media neither debated nor sensationalised the news.
The rivalry between RC and CSI have been going on for long with rift over properties, Churches and other litigations. Recently, a fight between RC and CSI is ongoing for possession of a church in Kerala.
(With inputs from TS Venkatesan in Chennai)