KOTTAYAM: The Ettumanoor police had a tough time on Friday after the Ettumanoor municipality allegedly delayed the burial of a stillborn in its cemetery citing flimsy technical reasons. As the delay lasted nearly 23 hours, the policemen buried the body on their own.
It all commenced when a woman delivered a stillborn at a private hospital at Thellakom on Thursday. Since the woman had no place to bury the body, the hospital authorities intimated the Ettumanoor police. After completing formalities like inquest and post-mortem, Ettumanoor police received the body by 3.30pm and approached the Ettumanoor municipality for burial.
Anoop C Nair, Ettumanoor SI, said the municipal secretary turned down the request, citing the hospital was not in its limit and advised them to approach Athirampuzha grama panchayat.
“The grama panchayat authorities said there was no public cemetery. Having secured a letter from there, police again approached Ettumanoor municipality by 4.30pm. However, the authorities demanded the inquest report. We can’t provide the inquest report to local body authorities as it is to be submitted in court. By the time the policemen contacted me and cleared the confusion, the municipality office had closed for the day,” Anoop told TNIE.
Having kept the body in its custody overnight, the police approached the civic body once again on Friday morning. “They sought to delay the proceedings again,” he said. The dispute was settled later after Municipal Chairman George Pullatt and a few other councillors intervened.
Anoop alleged municipal authorities did not send any workers to bury the body. Later, the police personnel led by Anoop dug a pit and buried the body by 2.30 pm. The incident triggered a protest as DYFI activists took out a protest march to the municipal office.
Municipal authorities accused the police of blowing the issue out of proportion. Pullatt said the cops appeared to be in a hurry to bury the body and were not even ready to produce a copy of the FIR initially.
A meeting of the municipal council decided to lodge complaints against the local police with the state police chief.