Photograph tweeted by Assam Police

Assam cop Debojit Deuri has won hearts when he went ‘way beyond the call of duty’ and personally performed the last rites of a COVID-19 patient after locals didn’t allow the body to be cremated.

Deuri, who is serving as Superintendent of Police of Karbi Anglong district, went himself along with his personal security guards wearing PPE kits and performed the last rites of the 58-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 after his death on June 7.

“A sensitive and humane gesture from SP @karbianglongpol & his team, who went way beyond the call of duty & personally performed last rites of a #COVID19 patient, following all given protocols. A family member of the deceased was also present to perform required religious rituals, following all given protocols,” tweeted Assam Police.

Locals had opposed the cremation in the village fearing for their health and even the staff at a morgue had refused to carry the body of the 58-year-old man, who had succumbed to the disease on June 7.

Karbi Anglong Deputy Commissioner Mukul Kumar Saikia told reporters that the body could be cremated at Sunbora village of Bokolia area at the SP’s initiative.

“We wanted to cremate the body last evening (June 8) in the designated area provided by the district Autonomous Council for COVID-19 victims at Athkilo. As the local people there opposed the disposal of the body fearing for their health, we could not do so respecting their concern,” the DC said.

Some of the eye witnesses were quoted by local media as saying that even the personnel at the morgue of Diphu Medical College and Hospital declined to lift the body and shift it to a van.

“Donning PPE protective gear, Deuri along with his security personnel carried the mortal remains and performed the last rites,” said one of the eye witnesses.

Assam has now 3,092 positive cases and out of which 1,834 are active. So far six patients have died in the state.

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