HYDERABAD: The process of the Police Department issuing No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to claim bodies of Covid-19 patients from other States, who have come to the city for treatment, comes as a blessing in disguise for self-appointed middlemen. They are charging hefty sums for helping the hapless relatives in getting clearances from the Police Department despite it being a free service.
Moreover, due to lack of assistance at the hospitals, the families of patients from other States are left at the mercy of these middlemen, who are fleecing them upto Rs 20,000 to issue an NOC.
Since an NOC is mandatory to cross the State borders, many are paying up. While the DGP office has made the NOC mandatory for claiming a patient’s body, several police units are following different procedures and some of them have even done away with the process, saying that NOC is issued only when asked.
During the second wave, Hyderabad has been witnessing a flood of Covid-19 patients from neighbouring States such as Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. A few police stations in the three commissionerates are issuing NOCs for patients from other States who die while undergoing treatment in the hospitals under their jurisdiction.
“We send a copy and communicate to the police station where the patient hailed from, so that the final rites are performed as per Covid protocol,” an official said.
Another official said that they are issuing NOCs for people from other States only if they want to perform final rites in their jurisdiction. But the greedy middlemen are taking advantage of these procedures. These groups are seen scouting hospitals offering “help” to the bereaved families in getting NOCs. Police officials said they will set up liaison desks at each station to coordinate with all hospitals to assist families.